Leadership is a hard socio-psychological phenomenon originating from an interaction between individuals in a team, in which the most important characteristics of the group manifest in a certain way. Primarily, leadership has not only a psychological and emotional, but a social nature. Leadership is one’s ability to influence and encourage individuals and groups of people to work towards achieving objectives hence a leader has a significant impact on an organization. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to study the role of a moral leader in an organization.
A concept of leadership can be defined as a process of directing and coordinating the behavior of groups of people with the purpose of achieving common tasks. In the book Moral Leadership, it is noted that “leaders should serve the basic needs of their constituents, defend fundamental moral principles, seek the fulfillment of human possibilities, and improve the communities of which they are part” (Rhode, 2015, p. 15). Therefore, morality of the leader has a weighty impact on an organization, community and society as a whole. A moral leader is a person who controls or takes decisions based on justice and ethics rather than personal, political, or financial reasons. Moral leadership implies creation and implementation of effective opportunities with the noble means (Linzey, 2015). The book Understanding Management tells that “moral leadership means seeking to do the honest and decent thing in the practice of leadership” (Daft & Marcic, 2010, p. 395). Impact of the leader on an organization will be long lasting only in case of using justified manipulative tools. Mostly, moral leadership is based on the authority rather than the government. People can buy or inherit the power. However, authority is the intrapersonal trait. The only way to get authority is to earn it by demonstrating proclaimed values and behavior.
Basic mechanism of the effect of a moral leader is identification. Receiving credibility, a leader becomes the object of admiration for subordinates, who actually copy the behavior triggering an authentication mechanism that acquires a form of a desire to resemble the leader. The influence of a moral leader consists in the ability to create, define and translate the standards of a high moral conduct. Identification with such leader allows staff to internalize values, social norms and evaluations. The uniqueness of a moral leader lies in the ability to convey values to the employees on the emotional and behavioral levels. The main task of the leader is to ensure a balance within the group, which results from leader’s effect on relations within the team. A moral leader is able to set at least five standards of behavior in an organization including ethics of communication, ethics of quality, ethics of cooperation, ethics of coherent plan and ethics of a term of leadership.
The United States had many outstanding leaders. Robert Coles (2000) provides examples of different moral leaders in his book. One of them is Senator Kennedy who has been a prominent moral leader. Another moral leader who has achieved great success is Stephen Bechtel, an owner and a long-term president of the American engineering and construction company the Bechtel Group. Stephen Bechtel believes that implementation of corporate governance practices ensures continuous improvement (Sucher, 2007). In his case, it has led to company’s long-term financial success and provided a reputation of a reliable partner with high quality products and services. However, according to Stephen Bechtel, it would be impossible if company’s leadership stopped to implement a leadership model based on a team spirit (Sucher, 2007). This model assumes that every effective leader should influence others to enable them overcome their selfish and egoistic interests and act for the benefit of an organization. The management team’s attention focused on the financial interests of consumers, company’s ability to awaken the energy of subordinates toward the achievement of future results and strengthening the sense of ownership among the members of the management team. In addition, they also focused on a creation of an atmosphere of trust by maintaining the highest quality standards at work.
Evaluating his long experience in business, Stephen Bechtel believes that his personal qualities have been the keys to success including an outstanding character, constant desire to improve activities, a team player personality, readiness for positive and constructive influence on the events within an organization and beyond it and others (Sucher, 2007). These qualities of a moral leader of an organization can motivate the whole team to achieve great success.
Without a moral leader, every organization will experience certain difficulties. Without a good leader, the team loses cohesion (Goode, 2010). Psychological climate of the company deteriorates (Goode, 2010). Consequently, it leads to a poor performance of an organization and the loss of customers. Therefore, a moral leader plays an extremely important role in an organization.
Leadership is the ability to affect both an individual and a group of people directing their efforts to achieve the goals of an organization. It is a natural socio-psychological process that occurs within the team. Leadership is associated with an authoritative personality that can influence the behavior of all members in the group. Presence of a moral leader is significant for every organization as he/she greatly improves the psychological climate of the team.