Manager Ethics, Leadership Styles: Ethical Dimension and Efficiency - Business Ethics

Manager Ethics

Leadership styles: ethical dimension and effectiveness

As there are no two identical fingerprints, so there are no two identical leaders, each has an individual style of leadership that depends not only on the requirements of the objective situation, but, first of all, on the psychotype of the leader's personality, the degree of development of his psychological and moral qualities , the level of professionalism. Nevertheless, in the management science, generalized characteristics of management styles are singled out.

The style of leadership is the habitual manner in which a leader behaves toward subordinates.

The problem of leadership style is one of the main problems of management theory, management, which is studied comprehensively on the basis of research in the field of psychology, social psychology, sociology and management proper.

In management, the main thing in studying leadership styles is its effectiveness in terms of achieving the organization's goals. In business ethics, this problem is posed somewhat differently: to what extent are the actions of the leader ethical within a particular management style.

Let's give a brief historical overview of management styles research. For a more complete study of them, we recommend that you refer to the educational and scientific literature on management.

The German psychologist K. Levin began to study the management styles in his classical experiments, emigrating in the 30s. the last century in the United States. Levin studied the influence of three styles of leadership (authoritarian, democratic and conniving) on ​​the behavior of a group of schoolchildren. And although the psychologist himself was not involved in management, his studies had a tremendous impact on the development of management problems in American management. So far, Levin's approach underlies the analysis of leadership styles. True, now the same styles are designated as directive, collegiate and conniving.

Let's highlight the characteristic features of leadership styles (Table 9.1).

Table 9.1. Manual styles

Directory (authoritarian)

Peer-to-peer (democratic)

Assertive (liberal)

Using Command Control Methods

Focus on socio-psychological management methods

Unsystemability in the application of management methods

Targeting a task

Targeting people


Centralization of authority

Delegating Authority

Non-use of authorizations

Single Decision Making

Decisions are made collectively

Samotec in the implementation of cases

Suppression of initiative

Initiative Encouragement

Indifference to the initiative

Hard Control

Trust in subordinates in combination with control

Lack of control of subordinates

Minimum information, small publicity

Wide openness, full information

Unsystematic situational reporting

Preference for punishment

Preferred promotion

Inactivity of incentives

Intolerance to criticism

Tolerance to criticism

Indifference to criticism

Elimination of objectionable

Caring for subordinates

Lack of care for staff

Directive (authoritarian) style is characterized by high centralization of leadership, unanimity in decision-making, strict control over the activities of subordinates.

Collegiate (democratic) style is characterized by the desire of the leader to work out solutions together with subordinates, distribution of authority and responsibility between the manager and his subordinates.

Tolerant (liberal) style is characterized by minimal participation of the leader in team management.

In this model, the most common styles of management are highlighted and outside of specific situations it is difficult to determine which one is preferable. In real practice, a combination of all the basic styles is used. For example, Lee Iacocca writes that he always adhered to a maximum of democracy until the moment when it was necessary to make a decision, and then he became a ruthless dictator: "Well, I listened to everyone," I say. "And now we will do this and that, then! & quot;

Arguing about management styles, the writer I. Solonevich gives such a joking example. Let us imagine that Prince Vladimir Krasnoe Solnyshko is sitting in the capital city of Kiev in the Gridnitsa and feasting with his grids. Then the messenger rushed: - "Prince, the Polovtsians come up." They began to discuss (collectively and democratically) what to do. Some suggest urgently to leave the feast and speak to the Polovtsians. Others say that you need to send a messenger to Chernigov, ask for help. Still others propose sending ambassadors with donations to the Polovtsy. There were many more proposals, but they did not have time to discuss them: the Polovtsians came and put everyone on the spot. The writer notes that under normal conditions a democratic approach to management is most attractive, but in extreme conditions it is not good.1

Or take this leadership style as a conniving one. It would seem, what are its virtues? However, it can be optimal in creative collectives, in which employees are highly motivated for activity, independence and creative individuality and want only that the authorities do not interfere with them.

There are no good and bad management styles. Each style has its pluses and minuses in relation to specific conditions, situation or object. The relationship between them is very important for the results of management. The ethical or unethical nature of certain manifestations of leadership style is determined by the concrete situation.

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964), American psychologist, professor of management at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, creator of the theory of labor motivation, formulated the prerequisites for choosing authoritarian and democratic management styles in the form of theories X and Y, considering the motivation of a person from two opposite sides.

According to the theory of X:

Position 1. People initially do not like to work and at any opportunity avoid work.

Position 2. People do not have ambition, and they try to get rid of responsibility, preferring to be led.

Position 3. Most of all people want security.

Regulation 4. To force people to work, it is necessary to use coercion, control and threat of punishment.

Consider these provisions from an ethical standpoint.

Position 1. The authoritarian leader takes the position of superiority in relation to subordinates, suggesting that they, unlike him, do not want to work. Of course, there will always be employees who do not like to work and can not work at a highly professional level. The consumer society forms the consumer. However, a person can be realized only in work, and along with those for whom work is a heavy duty, there are many employees who are focused on professional growth. In addition, if we assume that this provision is of a general nature, then it is also applicable to the leader, as to the subordinates.

Position 2. The thesis that people do not have ambition is very doubtful, and "escape from freedom" and the desire to get rid of responsibility, touches upon the most important ethical problem of the relationship between freedom and responsibility, which is of a philosophical nature.

Regulation 3. states that the need for security is one of the basic human needs.

Position 4. fundamentally contradicts the "golden rule of morality," which, as already said, reads: "Treat people as you want them to treat you."

The views of a democratic leader about workers differ from those of an autocratic one. McGregor called them the theory of "Y":

Position 1. Work is a natural process. If conditions are favorable, people will not only take responsibility, they will strive for it.

Regulation 2. If people are attached to organizational goals, they will use self-management and self-control.

Position 3. The acquisition is a function of the reward associated with achieving the goal.

Position 4. The ability to solve problems creatively is often, and the intellectual potential of the average person is used only partially.

According to these assumptions, the democratic leader prefers such mechanisms of influence that appeal to the needs of a higher level: belonging, high purpose, autonomy and self-expression. A true democratic leader avoids imposing will on subordinates.

D. McGregor himself was a supporter of the theory of "Y". He belongs to the following aphorism: "Create a good climate, provide adequate nutrition and allow people to grow themselves. Then they will surprise you & quot;.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)