Taking a Stand
Leadership is a fundamental aspect of any given organization because it is the leaders that determine whether a company will succeed or fail (Vohs et al. 2014). The leadership, through the guidelines they provide as well as the decisions they take influence how an organization will perform. Based on this view, it is critical that effective leaders should be part of an organization (Croskerry 2013). In this case, democratic and transformational leadership involves other staffs in the process of decision making but must also ensure that ethics is observed at all times. The ethical, conceptual frameworks of ethics that are often observed include the utilitarian ethics, virtue ethics, and deontology (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013). As such, this paper is aimed at providing an understanding how what it means by taking a stand, the application of ethics in decision making as well as the overall implications that can be realized when faced with an ethical dilemma (Vohs et al. 2014).
As noted above, the ethical constructs that a democratic and transformational leader can apply in decision making include the virtue ethics whereby one relies on the morals and virtues that they have developed in life. These refer to the values regarding what is right and what is wrong that an individual holds in life (Croskerry 2013). They determine the kind of decisions to make based on the need to demonstrate moral standards as a leader. Furthermore, there is the utilitarian ethics whereby the primary focus is on the benefits that will be realized by the majority (Velasquez, & Hester 2013). This means that the decision reached should benefit more people regardless of the outcome it has on the few minority. Also, there is the deontology ethics whereby the focus is on the rules and regulations that have been set. It calls for one to follow the rules without considering what the consequences will be and how they will impact the involved parties (Croskerry 2013).
One of the ethical dilemmas that I encountered at the place of work and that called for the application of the ethical constructs as well as my skills as a democratic and transformational leader was when an employee was allegedly found to have taken some drugs from the facility for a personal issue but without authorization (Hutchinson, & Jackson 2013). As such, the disciplinary action that was to be taken required that she should be fired without warning. However, when this decision was being arrived at, the fact of the issue is that the person who reported the matter did not agree to provide a written or oral testimony against the nurse (Velasquez, & Hester 2013). Also, no actual evidence showed she had done this in the past apart from this one occasion which was picked by the surveillance cameras. Dismissing the employee would mean leaving a significant gap in the facility considering that she is invaluable to the organization (Croskerry 2013). Additionally, it would mean damage to the reputation of the organization, but at the same time, it would mean upholding the policy of the organization. On the other hand, failing to fire her would raise issues with other employees who may take advantage of the situation. Either way, some parties would experience the adverse consequences of the decision taken (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013).
Handling the situation
Addressing the situation of the employee required both the application of my leadership skills as a democratic and transformational leader and also my ethical concepts to ensure that the best decision is reached (Croskerry 2013). It was decided that the employee should be issued a first warning over her conduct at the workplace and be reminded of the policies of the organization regarding such matters. Regarding the ethical implications utilized, virtue ethics was an essential framework for addressing the situation (Hutchinson, & Jackson 2013). Focusing on the virtue ethics, I believe that people deserve second chances in life and always, it is good to give others the benefit of the doubt. I convinced the disciplinary committee that the nurse did not deserve a severe punishment based on the need to promote good organizational behavior.
Furthermore, this was also part of the moral implication utilized in addressing the situation because the employee has been a good staff (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013). The employee has never been involved in any misconduct at the workplace or away from the workplace that has ever come to the attention of the management. Also, her track record shows that she has delivered beyond the required standards and always meeting the expectations of the clients and the organization. The moral implication of the situation was to support good character development and show the employees that they are not just workers but an important of the organization (Velasquez, & Hester 2013).
Moreover, the legal implications that were utilized in the situation were that if she is dismissed yet she has never received any warning, or there have never been any complaints about her work, the possibility that the nurse could sue the organization was high (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013). The organization was likely to lose the case if legal steps were to be taken by the nurse. This means that the reputation of the organization was at stake and suffering a lot of losses from such an incident would have failed. Besides, based on the fact that there were no witnesses and the reporter of the information did not agree to testify, legally, it would have been inappropriate to dismiss the nurse without hard evidence (Hutchinson, & Jackson 2013).
Role as a Moral Agent
A leader is a moral agent or advocates who focus on ensuring that the followers do not feel mistreated and that they too engage in moral behaviors (Croskerry 2013). As a moral agent, my role as a democratic and transformational leader is to ensure that all staffs have the required skills. Also, they must have the understanding regarding virtues, moral ethics, and good organizational behavior. Therefore, through training and workshops, it is my role to help the staffs develop a culture of upholding morals in their workplace (Hutchinson, & Jackson 2013). This will also give an opportunity to the staffs to share ideas among themselves. This will bring them closer together and allow them to overcome their differences that may affect their decisions (Vohs et al. 2014).
Another role is to become the model for the other employees. Being leader requires that one should demonstrate what is expected through examples (Hutchinson, & Jackson 2013). A democratic and transformational and transformational leader should act in such a way that others can emulate. Therefore, through engaging in moral acts and making morally and ethical decisions, I will become an example for the followers to emulate (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013).
Furthermore, my role is to provide information so that people can make informed decisions. In this situation, standing my ground over the issue despite the differences in views from the disciplinary committee helps to demonstrate to the staffs that they have to stand up for what is morally right (Velasquez, & Hester 2013).
Finally, the leadership styles that I have demonstrated at my place work include a democratic and transformational leader (Hutchinson, & Jackson 2013). These are styles that have allowed me to develop a good relationship with employees, resolve conflicts and also cultivate the culture of virtues in the workplace. Based on my self-assessment of my leadership abilities and styles, I believe that they have been fundamental in my decisions because my focus as a leader is to create an environment where workers can thrive and grow professionally (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013). Also, my leadership styles have helped prevent conflicts from escalating beyond control and ensure that good relationship among employees are developed. Therefore, instead of being barriers in addressing the ethical dilemma, my styles of leadership have helped resolve the issue within a short time (Velasquez, & Hester 2013). Also, at the same time, it helped protect the interest of the organization and that of the nurse in question.
In conclusion, leaders have a greater role to play in organizations especially in addressing the ethical dilemma. Based on my findings and as noted above, ethical decision making prevents a lot of conflicts and enhances relationships (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013). Virtue ethics is an ethical construct that allows good to exist of evil which inspires employees to work together. However, the application of the ethical constructs also requires effective communication and information. This is to ensure that decisions are made based on facts rather than assumptions.
Croskerry, P. (2013). From mindless to mindful practice—cognitive bias and clinical decision making. N Engl J Med, 368(26), 2445-2448.
Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., & Seijts, G. (2013). In search of virtue: The role of virtues, values and character strengths in ethical decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(4), 567-581.
Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.
Velasquez, M., & Hester, P. T. (2013). An analysis of multi-criteria decision making methods. International Journal of Operations Research, 10(2), 56-66.
Vohs, K. D., Baumeister, R. F., Schmeichel, B. J., Twenge, J. M., Nelson, N. M., & Tice, D. M. (2014). Making choices impairs subsequent self-control: a limited-resource account of decision making, self-regulation, and active initiative.