Paper- Leadership: Trustworthiness and Ethical Stewardship

Caldwell, Hayes, and Long (2010) The global marketplace has grown to be increasingly competitive and the reception of leadership behavior, trustworthiness and ethical duties can either promote or impair the employee’s commitment to the organization. Organizations in today’s marketplace rely more than ever on their employee’s innovations and initiative in order to gain and maintain a strategic advantage across the globe. It is for this reason that it is critical for leaders of an organization to build the right relationships pertaining to leadership, trustworthiness and ethical stewardship with their employees. Ability of leaders to earn the trust of followers is “the crucial ingredient of organizational effectiveness”‘. Gaylord and Drape (Bibb, p. 95) Leadership is defined by Lousier and ACH (2004, p. 5) is “the process of influencing leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change. ” Leadership pertains to the responsibility of knowing what outputs need to be and they develop a relationship with the employees that are focused on the needs of the employees while they achieve the results necessary to generate the desired outputs of the organization.

Leadership also is required to prioritize work while managing both financial and human resources in a fashion that is most effective in achieving the organizations objectives. Lastly, leadership is the establishment of a reputation that blends the organization’s beliefs with what they advertise while maintaining the expectations of the organizations customers. These factors of leadership assists with the coordination the actions and goals of one individual with the actions and goals of another.

This interactive nature helps us to understand leadership as the process used for “inducing others to coordinate their actions or goals with that of the individual, the leader, to foster the leader’s proximate goals. Antelope, Prolix, and Sheridan-Premier (2010) Leadership is the ability to guide and influence people and enlist support aid of employees in the accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives. Trustworthiness is an appraisal of the chance of, in the instance of corporations that the leaders can be trusted to respect the duties within the corporate culture as they pertain to the employees. Trustworthiness is a subjective perception interpreted by each party and is measured on a continuum that assesses the ability, benevolence, and integrity of the party to be trusted” Caldwell, Hayes, and Long (2010). The ability to be trusted is the measurement of a certain set of talents, aptitude, and traits that allow a leader to have influence within the corporate society. Benevolence was defined by Mayer et al. (1995, p. 71 8) as “the extent to which a trustee is believed to want to do good to the trust, aside from an egocentric profit motive. Integrity was defined in terms of “the tutor’s perception that the trustee adheres to a set of principles that the trust finds acceptable” (Mayer et al. , 1995, p. 719). The decision to trust or not to trust is generally based on several factors. These factors are characteristics and statistics of the population and “personal factors that are based on personal history, cultural background, age, gender, and expectations” Caldwell, Hayes, and Long (2010). Every leader knows that trust is an important factor in the effective management of people.

However, trust is not just given automatically to new managers or leaders. Trust has to be earned by what a leader says but more importantly by the behavior demonstrated by the leader. Employees base their opinions on what a leader says as well as the behaviors they observe the leader mistreating. What makes employees trust or distrust is based on whether or not they can they believe what the leader say. This may seem very simple or almost common sense but in reality it is difficult when put into action.

Ethical stewardship is more than just the responsibilities a leader has to the principal shareholders. A leader has duties to all stakeholders and parties involved to balance the all interests when a decision is made. Stewardship is a corporate authority that demands from its leaders that they act in a manner that serves ore than their self interest and focuses on organizational long term wealth that benefits the employees as well as all the organizational stakeholders Caldwell, Hayes, and Long (2010).

When leadership is discussed it seems that trust is always considered to be the central focus of the conversation but very little research justifies that notion of trust specifically benefiting the performance of an organization. However, there are several pieces of research that verify that ability, benevolence, and integrity were forbearer to trust. And the decision o trust, “the relinquishing of personal control to another with the expectant hope that the other party will honor express or implied duties between the parties is the sought-after outcome of leadership” Caldwell, Hayes, and Long (2010).

Leadership behaviors that the employees perceive to be trustworthy are essentially the behaviors that align with the definition of ethical stewardship. I have been a manager of people for about six years (eight years including my time as a platoon sergeant in the United States Marine Corps) and one thing I know for sure is that leadership is not an innate or inherent characteristic. A good leader must also exhibit ethics to be an effective manager for the long run in the corporate society. These leaders generally implement ethical programs in order to influence an organizations climate (Yuk, 2010).

In any business a leader that is effective inevitably must have employees that follow him or her and those followers are more apt to follow a leader that is moral and ethical rather than a leader that is dishonest. Leaders that are most effective are leaders that empower their people to be or demonstrate the same level of integrity that they revive. Society mainly directs the moral standards which make up the discipline of ethics (Velasquez, 2006). So what is means to be ethical or not to be ethical is decided by us, the people within the society.

Leadership is a very extensive topic and it entails different characteristics that someone possesses to have the ability to have others follow. A leader can be a manager in an organization but a leader isn’t always a manager. When you combine possessing the ability to gain followers with ethical leadership you have a very strong influence. In cross-cultural research on the essential traits for effective leadership, integrity is near the top of the list in all cultures that have been studied. Most scholars consider integrity to be an important aspect of ethical leadership” (Yuk, 2010).

In order to be a successful ethical leader there are many activities that can be advocated to encourage ethical behavior within an organization. An ethical leader develops programs that promote integrity in business. Ethical leadership is a necessary in every aspect of business. Employees will gain trust and more overall job satisfaction in a friendly work environment when ethical behavior is demonstrated and promoted. It is critical that leaders demonstrate and encourage ethical behavior in order to provide employees the tools to deal with ethical issues as they arise.

A business risks everything they have and it could also put in jeopardy a nation’s economy (i. E. Alga or the mortgage crisis) when unethical behavior is exhibited. There are several organizations that behave in a truly ethical way. I work for an organization named Shire HAG. When a competitor was shut down by the FDA for non compliant operations my organization provided a competing orphan rug for a rare disease to the competitors patients for free so they would not go without. Although Shire spent millions and millions of dollars for development and manufacturing of their drug they felt is was the right thing to do.

This behavior resulted in an image that was admired and appreciated and years later translated into large growth throughout the organization. Shire is now a world leader in providing medication to patients with rare diseases. Leadership that puts people first regardless of the profit margin ultimately resulted in the creation of wealth for the organization and the stakeholders. This is how want to be perceived as a leader and I enjoy working for an organization that demonstrates these types of behaviors.