It is apparent that the role of ethics in any leadership role is widely accepted as an integral part of any decision making process. Many organisations realise the importance of the role of ethics and the work of Shapiro and Stefkovich highlight the importance of ethical decision making. In 1994, Starratt informed the use of 3 types of ethics: Ethics of Care; Ethics of Critique and Ethics of Justice. Shapiro ad Stefkovich introduced the fourth on of Ethic of Profession.
The included ethic examined here is the Ethic of Personal Moral Integrity where Chroistopher Branson extends the notion that all the other ethics are interrelated for a leader to come to a final decision. To make a decision relies on knowing many aspects of the other ethics mentioned above.
To do this a leader needs to have an understanding of whether there is an ethical dilemma in the first place. Knowing what it is that makes a moral dilemma allows the leader to come to a decision based on knowledge rather than just personal bias and attainment.
It is argued that a leader, in the decision making process, is defining the common good by the decision that is made. But what is important to note, is regardless of what personal moral integrity a person has at some stage it could be argued that a personal bias and understanding would be brought into the decision making process. The point where the leader comes to the process, the self reflection before and during the process and the decision making within the process are all tinted in some way by the leader’s self reflection and self inquiry, points of values and moral integrity.
So the question is asked: Is there any decision made that is not biased in some way? Can a multitude of leaders be presented with the same dilemma and come to a multitude of decisions even if all are courageously working for the “common good”? My answer to this is a strong yes. A person’s personal inner reflection and their established values will influence any decision making process. Branson refers to “moral masquerading” where we may present a particular moral ethic in our decision but is it accurate of our true inner belief? I believe that no decision made is truly unbiased and whether consciously or subconsciously, the leader will always, in some way, make decision based on their own personal moral integrity.