With the entry into the 21st century, the business world, as well as the public sphere, has increasingly started to demand a more resolute adoption of ethics in the practice of leadership. While numerous business management, leadership, and human resource management texts have for years emphasized the relevance of ethical values for moral leadership, only in the last few years has research into the nature and applicability of business ethics multiplied. But, notwithstanding, the sphere of business and leadership ethics still appears indefinite. While some locate business ethics more upon a corporate, system level within concepts such as corporate social responsibility and sustainability, others position ethical values at the level of some kind of leader–follower relationship. From a somewhat normative perspective, individual leadership is being examined using ethical dimensions such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ leadership skills. In particular, in the business literature, exploratory research into the fundamental moral dimension of leadership is limited.
This paper will investigate the dichotomy of ethics in practice and theory in an attempt to identify a new framework for applied ethics in leadership. To this end, the absolute essence of ethical and moral behavior needs to be revisited. By examining several international business programs’ ethics and leadership education, this research will highlight the imperative to differentiate between ethics and morals, both in theory and practice.
|Keywords:||Leadership, Business Ethics, Moral Philosophy, MBA Programs|
Assistant Professor of Marketing, College of Business, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait
Researcher, Aix-Marseille Université, France