Article Review and Reflection: Ethical Leadership

Article Review and Reflection: Ethical Leadership


The article is an analysis of the basis of ethical leadership with an emphasis on the moral foundations of the process. Perhaps, the paper seems to be based on the axiom that ethical leadership is an active and dynamic process of change rather than a passive and constant state. Accordingly, Hester & Killian, (2012) base their arguments on the basic fact that the discarding of past practices does not necessarily translate into principled leadership. In fact, the outcome of ethical leadership does not require the discarding of past practices in totality regardless of whether they were bad or good. Instead, good leadership is dependent on a combination of different outcomes including and not limited to the analysis of past practices.

In the article, the writers discuss a process of change through which principled leadership is attained within organizations. In this regard, the significance of applying only what is good about the past is clearly emphasized. This way, the paper renders the process of principled leadership as an active task of applying the good while disregarding the bad in the past. In addition to this step, the article dictates that effective leaders must embark on a journey of eliminating their self interests in shaping organizational ethics. Ultimately, leaders are able to achieve principled leadership through the integration of passion into value-based contemporary leadership. By focusing on the use of passion in the text, the writers dissuade from its application to mean the incidence of neither rage nor anger. Rather, the passion emphasized in the text refers to the used of enthusiasm and excitement in leadership. Eventually, therefore, leaders are able to lead with a sense of integrity, respect for others as well as integrity.

Passion alone is not enough to initiate or sustain principled leadership as the paper suggests throughout the text. Rather, the concept of principled and ethical leadership is dependent on the combination and integration of a number of important ingredients. Passion is one of the main drivers of principled leadership when combined with the desire to serve others. Additionally, the construction and maintenance of relationships coupled with a sense of moral purpose brings about a spark in the fire of ethical leadership. Only through such measures can organizations be guaranteed of positive growth. This growth is also not a one-time process but a culmination of results from the growth and development of different units one at a time.


The article is effective in the analysis of the moral foundations of ethical leadership. Indeed, Hester & Killian, (2012) analyze the civility, values and morals that form the foundation for principled and ethical leadership in diverse organizations. By focusing on the good in the past, the paper presents a different approach in the development of ethical leadership. Normally, new leaders in organizations have the tendency of doing away with the past practices and heralding a new form of leadership. This process of change affects the organizational culture of such organizations and may lead to the loss of employees who do not conform to the changes implemented. Rather than supporting such negative tendencies, the paper encourages the development of organizations based on the results of the past. In this regard, therefore, leaders have the responsibility of identifying the good in the past and absorbing the same in the conduct of their duties.

The focus of the paper on the ethical aspects of leadership is a positive step in inculcating good morals in leaders. Indeed, most organizations have the objective of making as much profit by maximizing their production and limiting their expenses. In the course of this undertaking, some people may end up hurt through immoral and bad practices. The essence of having ethical leaders that understand the importance of morality is therefore important in striking a balance between the pursuit of profits and morality. The views raised in the article are reflective of my personal views regarding the concept of leadership. It should be the responsibility of leaders to ensure that the organizational culture is structure around moral values that are acceptable in society (Hester & Killian, 2012). In fact, maintain principled leadership that is founded on moral values is an important aspect in retaining both customers and employees.

The interrelationship between the article and the contents of our readings and discussions is quite interesting. In particular, the paper cuts across the course topics of ethics, governance and finance all of which have been covered in class. The focus on ethical leadership and especially the moral foundations of the process is a testament of the importance of these topics in the course outline. Quite often, the authors seem to agree with the principles of ethics discussed in class including the principles of honesty and trustworthiness (Hester & Killian, 2012). Consequently, the discussion in the article feels like an extension of the class readings and the discussions conducted in class. In the end, the paper agrees with the concepts taught in class and supports my personal viewpoints regarding the process of leadership.



Hester, J., & Killian, D. R. (2012). The moral foundations of ethical leadership. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 3(1), 5.


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