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Integrity and Leadership Theory

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 2950 words Published: 1st Dec 2020

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In leadership, integrity is supreme. Countless views exist on what sets a good leader apart from others. Many assume the vision of the leader, others, persistence, or motivating capacity. Some link successful leadership with intellect or skill. Leadership covers even more variables, like the capacity to adapt these traits to rapidly evolving circumstances. Integrity is the first quality that separates an intellectual leader from another. For great leaders, integrity is the most critical distinguisher. Leading with integrity means a person practices the ethics that they preach or walking the talk (Menzel 2016, p.67). This paper discusses ethics three separate leadership theories, blind spots, and the "utilitarian trap" and how opportunities to reinforce integrity within the organization gets overlooked. Further, discuss how leadership theory concepts can be leveraged to improve an organization.

Leadership Theories

Leadership and leaders appear in all dimensions, forms, and styles. Many barriers including the agency's ambiguous language, ethics code abuse, a silent culture, justification approaches, organizational disloyalty, and ethical errors could cause organizations to overlook opportunities and needs to reinforce integrity (Pope, 2015). Thus, the next sections focus on transformational, transactional, and entrepreneur leadership styles. The critical issue is matching styles with ethical leadership and the desire to create integrity organizations.

Transformational Leadership

Values support transformation leaders, also characterized as inspiring, charismatic, motivating prophets, and changemakers(Menzel 2016, p.77). Transformational leadership could motivate and encourage teammates to perform amazing things like exceeding normal levels. Vital to transformational leadership concept are leaders influence on supporters, which exceeds their self-interest and organization and society interest integration into their objectives. Briefly, supporters become empowered upon adopting the leader's message. Transformational leadership downside  is that  supporters could become faithful  in the leader's message and vision and become  "passionate animals." Nonetheless, when leaders improve the 'good,' relevant, and attractiveness awareness, they are genuinely transformational. Also, leaders are transformational when they promote supporters' greater moral maturity and advance believers past their self-interests for society, organization, and group benefits (Menzel 2016, p.77).

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Transformational leadership represents the perfect leadership style that organizations and supporters demand primarily because of its considerable effects on organizational results like work satisfaction, organizational group, and individual success, including others. Transformational leadership stresses more significant incentives growth and motivate supporters to create and express a stimulating future view(Dartey, 2015). Transformational leadership generates positive change among supporters, by considering each other's concerns and acting in the group overall interests. Therefore, transformational leadership describes leadership, which effectively adopts a complete and individualistic strategy to meet the group’s mutual objectives and aspirations. Indeed, this is leadership with a complete understanding of how strong the relationship and performance of individual system components are for achieving a collective goal. The transformational leadership concept comprised of five aspects: idealized influence (subdivided into two parts), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration(Dartey, 2015).

Idealized Influence and  Inspirational Motivation.  Idealized influence transformational leaders display charismatic qualities, representing their beliefs and ethics, which the supporters consider perfect,  and therefore, unveil them as emulation-worthy individuals. Indeed, such a leadership style has extraordinary qualities non-existent in other males. Inspirational motivation dimension describes how transformational leaders efficiently interact, develop, and enhance the group’s aspiration to guarantee mutual accountability towards achieving organizational objectives. Also, these leaders show passion, optimism, and emphasize dedication to a common objective (Dartey, 2015).

Intellectual Stimulation and Individual Consideration. Besides,  transformational leaders stimulate or generate a robust and inventive feeling and a predefined mentality to resolve followers’ issue. Transformational leaders generate a vibrant working atmosphere which question ancient methods or tried them, and where fresh ideas develop or embraced to guarantee significance to both inner and external atmosphere. Lastly, transformational leadership also integrates the followers personal, professional ambition and needs, the individual consideration, apart from leading to the critical organizational objectives general system achievement (Dartey, 2015).

Transactional Leadership

In both public and private organizations, many transactions occur daily, and competent leaders probably conducted the successful ones. These transactional commanders are capable communicators, effectively resolve issues, and are task-oriented employees. However essential are these competencies for the organization operations; they are insufficient to guarantee excellent organization performance. However, a transaction-led high-performance organization also need fair, honest, trustworthy, and transparent principals. An efficient transactional type of leadership, put differently, is value-driven, which is essential to transactional leaders leading with integrity (Menzel, 2016, p.76).

Transactional leadership is the interaction where both the superior and the subordinate mutually affect each other to produce value. Transactional leadership strategy established on a contractual arrangement amid a leader and supporters, expect both parties to accept operational transaction terms to guarantee the continuity of their relationship. Therefore, this leadership strategy is a traditional model engrained in the bottom line from a business or organizational perception. Thus, to guarantee the economic achievement results, the leaders rely on setting variables, strategies, rules and behavioral norms, together with establishing award and penal systems to promote positive work conduct and prevent adverse behavior. Thus, this scenario depicts transactional leaders as less people-oriented than task - or goal-oriented (Dartey, 2015).

Moreover, transactional leadership approach describes leadership conduct from three angles: contingency award and exceptional management, which further into active and passive. In return for achieving the required results from supporters, the contingency award states that leaders establish a reward system which brings external incentive. Active management, by exception, relates to leaders adopting a micro-managerial strategy to handle supporters. Here, the leader closely monitors his followers’ operations to guarantee rigorous compliance with standard procedures and providing timely remedies or actions to correct errors or deviations. Passive management by exception conversely relates to transactional leadership conducts, which offer supporters or workers supervisory room to perform their tasks, and only request aid only for deviations and unfulfilled performance standards problems (Dartey, 2015).

Entrepreneur Leadership

A business success relies on management practical leadership abilities, and entrepreneurial leadership is one such efficient leadership talent. Entrepreneurial leadership includes measures towards developing business at a personal level, measures to pursue initiatives at the organizational stage, and measures to benefit from market-level opportunities. The  Entrepreneurial leadership theory combines leadership abilities with an entrepreneurial culture. Entrepreneurial leadership is a significant variable in impacting company performance. Thus, in the current fierce and vibrant, competitive business setting, company leaders must employ entrepreneurial leadership traits to live, contest, and grow. Put differently, administrators' must be entrepreneurial leaders to ensure company success and stability. Thus, entrepreneurship training for business administration is crucial, and student learning must be at the college level (Yusuf & Faruk, 2018).

This theory increments value to the output or product of an organization. Entrepreneur leadership is the capacity to leverage assets to grow an organization, in size, and return on investment. Government and administrators must be entrepreneurial and risk-driven to alter the culture of the  U.S government bureaucracy. Patrons became citizens keyword; rivalry and industry became the key components in government operation, and bureaucrats becoming enterprising employees. Unsurprisingly, entrepreneurial leadership falls conveniently into the new paradigm which merges contemporary management skills with economics rationale while preserving fundamental public principles (Menzel, 2016, p.78).

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For enterprise leaders to lead with integrity, first, they must balance the compelling and robust push to achieve outcomes within the legislative structure and procedures where the organization operates. Second, entrepreneurial leaders exercise many transformational and transactional leaders’ strategies; empowering supporters’ concepts while guaranteeing fairness, honesty, and transparency at work. Put differently; efficient entrepreneurs combine essential transactional and transformational leadership traits. Leading with integrity demands incorporating the best attributes of both management style (Menzel, 2016, p.78).

Blind Spots

Usually, people are blind to their unethical conduct;  which means a gap exist amid intentional and genuine ethical conduct, triggered by situations that bound ethicality. Thus, bounded ethicality arise when people choices damage others and when such damage breaches the priorities and consciousness of the decision-makers. Ethical blind spots are the space amid what people do and must do, is unconsciousness. The mind is susceptible to bounded ethicality or mental restraints, which could cause unawareness of ethical consequences for choices. Daily work life facets like objectives, benefits, monitoring systems, and natural stresses could cause ethical degradation – an operation which eliminates ethical reflection from decision-making (Menzel, 2016, p. 73).

Additionally, ethical blind spots could emerge from oneself “want side “defeating the “should side.” When the should side defeats the before, and after the verdict, the “want side frequently wins the decision cases. The want-self defines a person emotional, affectional, aggressive, and cranky side. Conversely, the should self is reasonable, mental, reflective, and cool-headed(Menzel, 2016, p. 74). Other explanations for blind spots are revisionism and rationalization. Faced with a potentially badly resulting ethical decision, they find excuses, often aimed towards another individual or situation, to rationalize the conduct. The popular complaint, “I did nothing unethical readily fit  with “the organization force me." Alternatively, the revisionist to hide unethical acts from oneself. It is challenging to avoid unethical blind spots. Undeniably, integrated psychological operations could prejudice one’s decision and belief, and a strong inclination to be ethical regardless, bounded ethicality diagnosing, and conquering is tough(Menzel, 2016, p. 74).

Utilitarian Trap

Since the 21st century ambitious males and females confronts the lion's den to move forward,  how do they determine right and wrong? Welcome to the utilitarian. The duty to serve the people interest translates into choices that reward the majority. For example, public and nonprofit organizations leaders might determine that endorsing an overall staff salary increase is better than recommending a pay hike to a chosen team predicated on performance. The leader could streamline that with a large amount of unsatisfied staff,  and only a tiny number of happy ones, the organization is worse off. Therefore, ethics executives should not sacrifice doing the correct thing to please too many folks. The utilitarian trap is dangerous, as does defending an unpleasant or unethical act to attain an extremely favorable outcome. When pursuing goals, regardless of its attractiveness, the ends do not justify the means (Menzel, 2016, p.74-75).               

Indeed, a utilitarian strategy is appealing, as it is feasible to compute a likely favorable result. Therefore, doing the correct thing becomes a smart activity, and perhaps lucky computations. Individuals could learn these calculations through common sense and education. However, it appears manipulative and skewed to project ethics situations right and wrong results. People could discover, however,  how to indulge in cognitive processes which could yield the "right" conduct or choice. To resolve an ethical decision that involves right against wrong and or, right vs. right, a person must grow moral imagination traits; the capacity to produce a “film in the head” that considers the environmental dynamics to decide(Menzel, 2016, p.75).


One could leverage leadership theory approaches to enhance an agency through measures that encourage cultural shifts and improve the organization. The activities include: knowing the current organizational culture, modestly working in partnership, improving mental security via training and positive defiance leveraging. Other actions include establishing a coaching orientation centered on resolving issues and accepting a systemic approach by developing and aligning support structures and procedures (Singer, 2013). Indeed, leading with integrity is rather complicated.

Finally, many people see themselves as more ethical than their co-workers and even their leaders. However,  a feeling of moral supremacy is a prospective trapdoor where one might fall while searching for leading with integrity. Supporters must sincerely believe in the leaders’ actions. Ethics contrived integrity would doom a leader. Regardless of style, a person could lead with integrity, alter and adapt a leadership to match an agency. Learning to lead with integrity is practical. Motivated people should practice similarly, how they strive to lead a moral life ingrained in empathy, honesty, justice, and kindness. Leading with integrity involves ethical leadership beyond preventing ethical misconduct; it creates a favorable change in societies and others’ lives. Above all, enthusiasm, bravery, and fairness are vital moral attributes of ethical public officials (Menzel, 2016,p.92).Finally, a future study would evaluate the other leadership theories in detail.


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