What Does It Mean to Be an Ethical Leader?

Running Head: CRJ220 Assignment 6 CRJ220 Assignment 6 Thomas Seagle Strayer University What does it mean to be an ethical leader? Obviously, one first has to be sure that one is not personally engaged in unethical and corrupt behaviors. Unfortunately, in many recent examples, leaders cannot pass even this first test. In addition, one has to take responsibility for the larger role responsibilities of a leader position.

One of the most distressing aspects of public scandals involving public officials is the discovery that their wrongdoing was often well known to those who should have done something about it, the topic of the “Quote and Query” box. (Pollock, J. 2010 Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice Sixth Edition) Leadership is the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group. Criminal justice professionals should develop and maintain leadership skills in their professional and personal lives because it’s what they do.

To some, they are role models, but to all they are the ones who make and/or carry out the laws. Leadership involves the commitment, dedication, and risk taking attitude of the individual. Some leadership skills that they should obtain is (1) Quick thinking. This means that those working in criminal justice must be of sharp and sound mind, able to adapt to situations quickly and make snap decisions with good judgment. (2) Strong ethical sensibility. You should be ethical, act fairly and always in the best interest of the people. 3) People skills. You need to be able to communicate with others. Communication and people skills are critical in everything from directing traffic to conducting an interview to testifying in court. (4) Knowledgeable of laws. If you work in the criminal field you should be familiar and know the laws of the state and national. Especially officers, they should always be familiar with laws and how to enforce them. (5) Ability to handle stress. Most criminal justice jobs, even office jobs, can be emotionally and/or physically demanding.

They should maintain these because it’s what can help them and others. Ethics is a system of moral principles. Ethics applies to professional responsibilities. Where do ethics play a role in criminal justice? It would be where the people working the field are not supposed to be corrupt, or dishonest, but are allowed to lie to suspects as an interrogation technique. (Weaver, G. R 2006) A virtue ethics perspective considers the law enforcement character, motivations, and intentions (something we didn’t discuss at all under the other two perspectives).

According to virtue ethics, it is important that the individual intends to be a good person and exerts effort to develop him or herself as a moral agent, to associate with others who do the same, and to contribute to creating an organizational context that supports ethical behavior. (Denton 2011) Can anyone argue against the idea that if leaders are honest, ethical, and caring, there is a good chance that those who work for them will also be ethical? If administrators and/or managers are hypocritical, untruthful, and use their positions for personal gain, workers often march in these same footsteps.

If the business itself is premised on misleading the consumer and perpetrating fraud to secure higher profits, why should business leaders expect that workers would behave any differently? Trautman (2008) offers the “Corruption Continuum,” which details how organizations can become corrupt through(1) administrative indifference toward integrity, (2) ignoring obvious ethical problems, and creating a (3) hypocrisy and fear dominated culture, all leading to (4) a survival of  the fittest approach by individual employees (who will commit unethical acts to protect themselves).

In any organization, there are those who will almost always make ethical choices, those who will usually make unethical ones, and those who can be influenced one way or the other. The best course of action is to reward those in the first group and identify those in the second group and encourage them to find other employment or at least remove them from temptation. Then organizational leaders must create an atmosphere for the third group that encourages ethical decision making.

This can be done by promoting ethical administrators, rewarding morally courageous behavior, and providing clear and powerful organizational policies that emphasize worthwhile goals and honest means. (Pollock, J 2010 Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice Seven Edition) References Pollock, J. (2010) Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice Sixth Edition Retrieved June 3, 2012 Denton (2011) Ethics & Leadership in Criminal Justice Retrieved June 3, 2012 from http://www. ppapers. com/essays/Leadership-Skills-For-The-Criminal-Justice/818941 Weaver, G. R (2006) ‘‘Virtue in Organizations: Moral Identity as a Foundation for Moral Retrieved June 3, 2012 from http://media. wiley. com/product_data/excerpt /67/ EH EP 0017 /EHEP001767-2. pdf Pollock, J (2010) Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice Seven Edition Retrieved June 3, 2012 from http://www. scribd. com/doc/63772532/Ethical-Dilemmas-and-Decisions-in-Criminal-Justice

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