Ethics can be defined as a system of moral principles that influences how people make decisions on what is right or wrong. Ethics helps to guide through different dilemmas, such as making moral decisions or how to live a good life. Philosophers attach different definitions of ethic that are divided into three theories that include metaethics, normative, and applied ethics. Metaethics deals refer to ethics as moral judgment and analyze the origins and meaning of ethical principles. Normative ethics involves the content of good reviews and the criteria to define what is right or wrong (Myers Jr, 2015). Applied ethics includes discussion on a controversial topic, animal rights, and capital punishment.
Ethical leaders are different from just leaders. This kind of leaders focuses on what is right and wrong. Leaders without ethics follows rules and guidelines without critical thinking. However, ethical leaders possess some difference where they use moral values to make decisions and just following the existing guidelines. The ability to make change for ethical leaders is based on the moral values that checks the greater good of the organization. Leadership can be described as the ability to carry the vision for others and having an impression for them. Leadership inspires others to make better decisions at their levels and follow the laid-out vision. An ethical leader has good communication skills to influence the team in a positive way according to his or her leadership style.
Ethical educational leaders help an organization to grow and overcome daily challenges within an organization. Ethical leaders foster trust among employees and leaders in a visionary perspective that defines the boundaries of right and wrong. Ethical leaders conduct themselves and make decisions aligned with organizational ethics. Ethical leaders’ think for the good of others in the organization. Ethical educational leaders consider the good of the teachers, students, parents, and other partners in their decision-making process. The traits of ethical leaders create a role model for others to follow by following the codes of conducts in the organization. This kind of leaders understands the act of service and fosters goodwill in an organization (NORIEGA & DREW, 2013). Also, such leaders hold sufficient power that supports others and not misusing people in their authority. Ethical educational leaders know how to deal with people with an understanding of what is the right thing and making quality decisions.
An ethical leader creates an environment based on ethics and morality. He or she demands ethical behaviours from different people in the organization. All activities performed in the school should comply with given guidelines on ethics. Codes of ethics are core to school operations. His relationship with subordinate leaders is based on mutual respect and self-discipline. Trust is critical for such leaders built on honesty and ethical actions. Fairness and equity are practised in all facets of the organization (NORIEGA & DREW, 2013). These conducts motivate teachers and students to perform better in their areas.
Ethical educational leaders should have behaviours that reflect their understanding of ethics and morality. The actions done by ethical leaders depict their understanding of what is right and wrong. These kinds of leaders have critical thinking abilities that allow them to make decisions in the hardest cases. Also, the ability to have moral reasoning is improved to ensure all stakeholders in the organization benefit from the problem. Every leader should be comfortable explaining his decisions and the values that drive his actions. Understanding the diversity of value inclines the leader to create standard codes of ethics to guide behaviours in the organization (NORIEGA & DREW, 2013). A leader should know his obligation to achieve a better place in leadership and assess his responses are alignment to his goals.
An ethical leader can think deeply concerning moral questions. When confronted by a right versus right conflict of responsibilities, ethical leaders should be ready to fail in some ways as they miss in others. Each ethical leader understands that no single decision is right in this world. Every decision will have people affected by its effects. Having a guideline to make the ethical choice is essential for a leader to avoid taking or those that fail to benefit the organization. The public interest that overpowers self is crucial for a moral leader. He or she thinks for the good of others over his own needs. Educational leaders understand the importance of different stakeholder to improve their reputation. Offering others a chance to participate in decision making provides a room to make ethical actions (NORIEGA & DREW, 2013). An educational leader recognizes the talents of both teachers and students to offer them opportunities to excel in their giftings.
The changes made through a school tax referendum requires an ethical decision-making plan to ensure minimal damage and conserve the rights of the people. The four questions framework developed by Badaracco in 1992 will guide my decision in this scenario. The four questions help to assess different ways of resolving right-versus-right dilemmas. As a leader of a district school, I have four proposals that seem right, and I should choose one.
Which course of action will do the best and the least harm?
This first question analyzes the consequences or results of the proposal. As a leader, I should choose the one that caters for the greatest need of the stakeholders. In this case, I would go with the second proposal that eliminates transportation services. This proposal will only affect the driver who will lose his job and the students who have been using the busing services. However, other cheap means of transportation exist, and students can resolve to those means. The other three proposals seem to affect a wide array of people, including their families. For example, reducing the number of teachers in the school will cost them a livelihood leading to financial stress even to their children.
Which alternative best serves other’s rights, including shareholders’ rights?
This second question focuses on individual rights, where Budaracco (1992) considers individual rights to life, liberty, and their seeking for happiness. Other reasons include respect, safety, and fairness. Listing the rights of each stakeholder can be difficult. In this scenario, we focus on teachers, students, parents, and school partners. The first proposal seems to take away the rights of some teachers and students where teachers are eliminated, and students are taught in large classes. The second option takes some liberties from the driver and the students. However, transportation services are not demanded by the law. The third option requires parents to pay additional fees for additional activities such as games. Thus, the choice is not fair to the parents and to the students whose parents cannot afford the extra costs. The fourth option removes programs that benefit gifted students since the law does not require them. However, the talented students will suffer, and their freedom to participate in the programs will be eliminated. Therefore, none of these options serves other’s rights, but they differ in magnitude. The second options does not affect people’s rights in a huge way compared to others.
What plan can I live with, which is consistent with fundamental values and commitments?
This question assesses the conscience and value. The leader has to make a choice that he or she will have a free conscience, protect the reputation of the school, and consider the long-term consequences. Accordingly, the second proposal for a change in the school will not leave a negative reputation of the school, the values of the people will be reserved, and long-term consequences are not significant. The second option will allow students to use their means of transportation. This proposal will have minimal impact on the future of the school or students (Christensen & Boneck, 2010). The rest of the options seems to affect people’s lives and impact their livelihood for the long-term.
Which course of action is feasible in the world as it is?
This question assesses the actions that are better taken to preserve the survival of the organization. The limited financial access is restricted and calls for an immediate response, as indicated in the four proposals. The most available work will support the changes in financial access and should preserve the organization. The second option is feasible in reducing the expenses in the district budget and does not distort much of the school program and activities (Christensen & Boneck, 2010). Therefore, the feasible option is eliminating the transportation services from the school.
The four questions, as guided by Budaracco, are used consistently and dependently to promote an ethical decision. Without one of the question considerations, a leader can make a skewed decision that serves a few interests and fails to consider the entire organization and its stakeholders. In this regard, the assessment shows that the second option is the best action for an ethical leader in making. The conclusion has been achieved through a balanced act of solving an ethical dilemma of the existing issue (Christensen & Boneck, 2010). The ethical ideal option to reduce expenditure for the upcoming school year is eliminating transportation services for the high school.