The intent of this paper is to examine the relationship and interdependencies between ethical leadership practices and organizational assessment. It addresses reasons why leaders are required to serve as important role models in influencing and advocating ethical norms of behavior within their organizations. The paper also provides suggestions of innovative thinking that empower employees to follow their leadership in practicing ethical behavior both professionally and personally. .
The pursuit of effective ethical leadership on a global level is an ever-challenging task due to a consistent lack of forms of standardized or generally accepted ethical and moral leadership practices by corporate leaders in terms of cultural diversity in the international marketplace (Millar & Poole, 2011). This has resulted in the development of a negative public outlook, as the goals and objects of ethics so often discussed in terms of leadership remain to a larger extent unaccomplished. The increasing need to continuous improvement, training and education in ethical leadership is evidenced by what transpired at the turn of the century involving a massive amount of unethical practices involving corporate financial scandals and the ensuing collapse of major international corporations, such as Enron, Tyco, WorldComm, etc. In this case, ethical standards were compromised by the drive for economic outcomes, and as a result, corporate leadership has garnered close review due to the functions they serve as role models in the management of ethical practices, conduct and acceptable behavior (Millar & Poole, p.5, 2011). Ethical leadership is based on the premise principle of "doing well by doing good"- becoming knowledgeable in what is good and applying it to the general good of society. However, if the practice of ethical leadership follows this principle, it raises questions of exceptional importance as to whether global corporate leadership actually practices what they preach on concepts of ethical leadership.