Leadership & Ethics in the Workplace

Introduction

In the modern world, the number of scandals within the workplace has been on the rise. This is attributed to the lack of proper ethics and leadership skills within the workplace. Lack of proper leadership and management has negative effects on the both the personal and organization level.

The leaders in a workplace are a reflection of the group members in that particular workplace and the group members in one way or the other bear the burden of what the leader decides to do or has already done. As the leader bears the responsibility of governing the group’s conduct in the workplace, his or her leadership skills should be firmly founded in ethics.

Ethics by its definition involves a set of rules that that control and guide the individuals in question in their daily routine, which includes the workplace. The virtues involved in the ethics, act as the guidelines as well as the criteria to proper behavior. Custom, conduct, choices, and free will are some of the issues that are addressed by ethics (Langan-Fox and Cooper, 2008, p. 111).

In order for a leader in a workplace to tackle the challenges ahead effectively, the leader must take note of the challenges and instigate a transparent process of addressing them. As the challenges in current organizations increase in complexity, it is important that all the employees should change their mindset on what they perceive on leadership and shift the focus to the role of a leader. The must desist from being independent to interdependent as this is the only way organizations can cope in the current complex world.

Description of the Organization

Perfection Clutch is the “leading producer of a full line of automotive clutches, new flywheels and clutch hydraulics marketed under the Perfection Clutch, Brute Power and ZOOM brands” (Perfection Clutch, n.d).

The mission statement was hard to find specifically, but after speaking with the human resource department it was explained to be that basically, “We are committed to maintaining our position as a leading specialist in the offering of parts for repair of service-exchange clutches, hydraulics, and flywheels for a range of automatic vehicles” (Perfection Clutch, n.d).

The code of ethics is quite lengthily but the important points are, “To have a sense of personal obligation to each customer, to give the best customer service possible and in the case of any disputes, to provide a prompt and amicable resolution, and to ensure that my entire staff conducts themselves in a professional manner and in keeping with the high standards of the automotive industry” (Perfection Clutch, n.d.). The many stakeholders for the company include financers, customers, suppliers, employers, the owners, and the local community.

Leadership in organizations

The ever-changing economy and the increase in expectation of productivity are some of the characters of the emerging new world. Increase in both pace and the pressure of working extra hard result to tension and stress on the employees.

This hence results to the question of how the leader can motivate his or her subordinates to unite and work for the betterment of the organization. Leadership in organization incorporates such strategies as empowering employees, structuring the spirit of unity and developing of trust. However, these strategies may take months or even years to implement and it’s not an overnights work.

Diversity as an organizational challenge

More than before diversity has become one of the greatest characteristic feature of the modern type of workforce in organizations. Increase participation of women as well as minorities in the workforce is evident. However, despite this increase the role of supervising multilingual and multicultural workforce has proved to be a challenging issue within the boundaries of organizations.

This in one way or the other has led to employment of temporary or part-time workers whose commitment to the organization is not complete (Reece and Brandt, 2008, p. 278).

According to Draft and Lane (2008), the maximum potential of diversity cannot be achieved without the incorporation of culture. This means that, within the organizations individuals must tackle head on the difficult issues relating to diversities. Although numerous steps have been taken in creating diverse organizations in the corporate world, more still needs to be done, as we are not there yet.

One of the most crucial roles for organization leaders in the years to come is creating and establishing a firm foundation for diverse leadership skills. In organizations, diversity is mainly evident in the lower ranks and it proves to be an uphill task to elevate it to the higher ranks, an initiative that is to be undertaken by the leadership fraternity.

Successful and responsible leaders in this ever-changing world have the role of valuing and acknowledging the various cultural differences and comprehend the effects of diversity in the operations of the organization and its aftermath (Daft and Lane, 2008, p. 325).

As a leadership challenge, diversity seeks to fully maximize ability of human resources for the sole purpose of achieving maximum productivity and effective accomplishment of missions. In the modern world, as more minorities and women climb up the management hierarchy, they tend to find it a lonely road, which is filled with barriers.

The experience of sexism and racialism in the lower ranks of organizational positions is regarded as a preparation to the real eye opener experience attained in the higher authority positions. In the workplace, racism and sexism are often expressed in subtle means.

Majority of the minority leaders in organizations are intimidated by the negative attitude portrayed to them by their subordinates. This therefore leads to a struggle among these leaders of delegating responsibilities and duties to the same subordinate that are not respectful.

In organizations, leaders perceive diversity as a constant challenge. Apart from its benefits, cultural diversity for instance is attributed to costs incurring and other concerns such as difficulties in communications and intra-organizational conflicts.

Without proper measures and among organizational leaders the issue of diversity in the workplace will persist to be a thorn in the long-term plans of organizations. Diversity of people, regarding their color, their gender, and their nationality has been one of the major issues that have been revolving across the world.

Increased diversity initially had been viewed as a problem and what followed next is the legislation founded on the various diversity categories. Assimilation was regarded as the ultimate solution as women, minorities, and immigrants were trained on acting as employees that are existing (Parker, p. 80 & 81).

In spite of the decrease in overt racism in the past decades, race- based decisions are still carried out within our organizations. This type of racism, which is known as aversive, is not easily detectable and hence it becomes problematic. The presence of aversive racism is mainly common in ambiguous situations where other factors other than race can be attributed to the decision made.

In a situation where a leader states the reasons of failing to achieve high quality relations with a subordinates as been personality difference or work performance, the leader may be applying aversive racism as in the situation racism may be indicated as the critical factor. This kind of creeping racism is regarded as one of the biggest challenges in not only modern organizations but individual point of view as the perpetrators involved are not always aware of bias they have committed (Graen, 2003, p. 48).

The perceptions within the organizations that contact with the individuals of different races is bound to reduce prejudice is not correct. Contact on its own its not bound to change the attitude towards individuals of different races.

Contrary more contact is bound to increase negative attitude instead of reducing it. In majority of the organizations managing diversity is mainly considered as a priority by considering the change in internal and external pressures. In the current world organizations tend to hire women and minorities in situations where there is a possibility of a legal challenge that pose as a threat to the organization. In addition to this modern racism has been regarded as subtle in the community.

This means that conflict is created in the organization when the suggestions of the employee regarding affirmative action are not taken note of before diversity initiatives are implemented. In a situation like this one party in the organization feels offended as its suggestions have been disregarded and hence the effects of the aftermath is that the same party is affected negatively by its counterpart party (Rice, 2010, p. 73).

Managing diversity in organizations

Organizations are regarded as any other social system when it comes to long-term racial identities. Organizations will have to be equipped with proactive solutions in their attempt of dealing with racial attitudes within the organization.

Negative exchanges that are based on race will need to be minimized and instead training programs will need to be incorporated in the organizations. With these training programs, the leaders as well as the monitors will be able to scrutinize their own beliefs and actions. In addition to this, the organizations can establish a superior identification of the employee with the organization.

A good example of this superior identification is in the US army statement that recognizes no other color apart from green. This indicates the irrelevance of race in the culture of the US army. One of the best approach of dealing with the issue of diversity and in particular racism is by creating a leadership culture that will accept as well as respect the various types of races constructively (Graen, 2003, p. 49).

Leaders within an organization have a crucial role to play in regarding to the issue of diversity within his or her organization. The leaders need to be trained on developing quality exchanges with their subordinates. The training should range from listening skills to exchanging of resources. It is from the training that future work relations between the followers and the leaders will be solidified as well as teamwork satisfaction achieved.

Leaders of organizations whose main agenda is to effectively manage diversity, they must appreciate the role played by conflict in promoting a teamwork belief within the organization. “One common way” tackling of diversity within the organizations should not be aspired by leaders as they should decide on the best way forward of bringing together conflicting interests in order to arrive to an amicable solution.

Despite the numerous positive changes that are notably detected in the current world of minorities and women in regard to their effect in the workforce, this group of people still remains untapped. In order for the organizations to change this situation in the workplace, broader steps need to be taken.

One of these steps is pay hike for the women. According to a recent government statistics, women remain underpaid as compared to their male counter-parts with a 31 percent of women making it to the highest paid category. Upper management positions should also be incorporated with the minorities in the society and not just the majority group. This will foster representation of the various groups within the organization and the society at large (Hodgetts and Hegar, 2008, p. 563).

As the word is rapidly changing majority of the organizations have incorporated training among their supervisors and managers on the basis that the world is changing and they need to change with it least they are left lagging behind. The managers and the supervisors are mainly the focus of the training as they are normally at the diversity frontier.

In addition to this, handling a diverse workgroup is a completely new topic to comprehend to majority of the organizations’ leaders. As the training commence support on diversity should be elicited from all stakeholders so as a successful implementation of the program can be achieved. The effects of diversity issues to an organization should be clearly spelt out in order to enable the leaders undertaking the training appreciate the whole training program.

Conclusion

Diversity management should be based on healthy human relations that are fundamentally valuable. The people within the leadership positions within the organizations should therefore tackle the day-to-day issues that emerge when members of their organization speak different languages, possess different cultures, and possess different backgrounds. This will require a leader who can cope or adapt swiftly to the race, gender, and ethnicity issues without compromising to the values of a particular group.

The managers should learn to create a conducive environment whereby difference and diversity are of high value. Addition to this, the conducive working environment should maximize on the full potential of the employee without discriminating. Tackling of the diversity issues amicably will ensure that that an organization has attained a competitive advantage over the other players in the industry. Failure to tackle the diversity issue will result to poor teamwork production and lack of modern managerial skills.

The workforce in use in the modern world is comprised of various races, genders, ages, and ethnic groups among other diversities. It is the role of a leader to ensure the different pieces of these diversity fits together and synchronize in a harmonious manner ensuring that the full potential of each employee is achieved. The future indicates that there will be no room for individuals who cannot successfully work with their diverse counterparts.

References

Daft, L. R. and Lane, G. P. (2008). The leadership experience. OH: Thomson Higher Education.

Graen, B. G. (2003). Dealing with diversity. NY: Information Age Publishing.

Hodgetts, M. R. and Hegar, W. K. (2008). Modern Human Relations at Work. OH: Thomson Higher Education.

Langan-Fox, J. and Cooper, L. C. (2008). Research companion to the dysfunctional workplace: management challenges and symptoms. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.

Parker, B. (2005). Introduction to globalization and business: relationships and responsibilities. CA: SAGE Publications.

Reece, L. B. and Brandt, R. (2008). Effective Human Relations: Personal and Organizational Applications. MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Rice, F. M. (2010). Diversity and Public Administration: Theory, Issues, and Perspectives. NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.