Leadership and Ethics


Ethical leadership is a leadership which is considered by respect for people’s beliefs and values in ethical areas. (Watts, 2008). This blog will illustrate two different theories of ethics and use 4-V model to support the definition of ethical leadership. In addtion, before drawing a conclusion at the end of the blog, some specific examples for analysing ethical behaviour will be given.

Part 1

It is clear that two principle theories of ethics are in different sides. They are deontological for rules and teleological for consequentialist (Graham, 2004). To be more specific, people who are dentological may pay attention on what they do. For instance, some small business, such as private cake shop, will make a perfect birthday cake for customers no matter how much money it can earn. The reason why they make this choice is the responsibility from their hearts. It is easy to understand that this kind of area let people concern more on process. However, those teleological persons will focus on the results of the things they have done. For example, for the purpose of achieving the annual sales, any promotion ways can be used for Nike. As a result, workers may work hard for bonus but forget what they have done during a period. Definetely, this side of the theory is willing to gain the right consequence. Based on 4-V model of ethical leadership, people may find out more right ways to earn profits. In this model, leaders may dig out the core value from the business project and develop their existing voice or vision to find the balance in the cycle. In particular, 4-V model can help people catch some opportunities in correct area.

Part 2

As one of the most popular business in IT industry, e-commerce plays an important role in marketing. According to a journal, depending on the fast development of internet, many great business opportunities are available in e-commerce. However, some problems might happen if any unethical behavior showed by individuals (Nardal, 2011). It is undoubted that Alibaba is the most successful company from China in e-commerce. It provides a large amount of products for people all over the world in order to satisfy their different demands. Moreover, the quality of products may be an ethical standard for Alibaba to customers (Liu and Avery, 2009). It is said from a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du2gFcMXMtE) by Jack Ma, the leader of Alibaba, customers are the first priority for his business. What it means is Alibaba will insist providing high quality products to customers. That is one of the ways to demonstrate the good ethical behaviour in running the company. As we know, if any goods customers bought online are different with they saw from the advertisements, the satisfaction of customers might go down and lead Alibaba to lose some of market share. So, Alibaba is promoting its survices to customers in order to perform well in ethics. On the other hand, though Amazon is the second largest internet company in IT industry, some bad ethical behaviour happen on it. Specifically, security is a common issue for e-commerce companies (Kalpan 2013). Furthermore, more and more people will become users for Amazon. In another word, a huge data of customers’ privacy that Amazon should protect. But in fact, though the security agreements will be accepted by users online, much important personal information might be lost because of the hacker or technical loopholes. Additonally, some employees from Amazon may sell their clients’ information to another company to gain some extra profits, even it is a directly competitor. All these performances identify that Amazon has a bad ethical behaviour in its daily operation. To be honest, security is becoming a key factor to affect the development of Aamzon in e-commerce. To summarize, the performances of ethics will be one of a criterion for organizations in operating their business (Barraquier, 2011).


In conclusion, ethical leadership is an vital skill for a leader or a manager (Darcy, 2010). Absolutely, a leader who has great behaviour in ethics can help a team to be more excellent. Obviously, it is easier to communicate with others if respect is showed to them. Simmultaneously, to consider more on people than on work might also be a key factor to be a good manager. In the point of my view, individuals who own ethical leadership should pay attention on what others do and trust them in order to get the fluent connection between employers and employees. Finally, a successful leader must plays a responsible role in operating a team or a company.


Barraquier, A. (2011). Ethical Behaviour in Practice: Decision Outcomes and Strategic Implications. British Journal of Management, 22, pp.S28-S46.

Darcy, K. (2010). Ethical Leadership: The past, present and future. International Journal of Disclosure and Governance, 7(3), pp.198-212.

Graham, G. (2004). Eight theories of ethics. London: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

Kalpan, M. (2013) SWOT Analysis for Ecommerce Companies. [online]. Available from: < http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3971-SWOT-Analysis-for-Ecommerce-Companies > [Accessed 03 April 2013]

Liu, S. and Avery, M. (2009). Alibaba. New York: Collins Business.

Nardal, (2011). Ethical Issues in E-Commerce on the Basis of Online Retailing. Journal of Social Sciences, 7(2), pp.190-198.

Watts, T. (2008). Business leaders’ values and beliefs regarding decision making ethics. [Morrisville, N.C.]: [LuLu.com].


Leadership and Ethics》上有7条评论

  1. culcchens40

    Lead a team in a ethical way is the basic requirement of leadership. Every leader must get this skill before they become a leader.

  2. johnzhangsite

    4V model is really suit for this topic. In 4V model i think the voice part is really important. Because a lot of entrepreneurs know the other three parts,but they really dont know how to express their mind to their employees.

  3. culchuc9

    The blog is an extension part of leadership and constraint leadership into morality frame, which makes the whole topic series improving and complete. Smart and great one!



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