Introduction: Why Ethical Educational Leadership?

Authored by: Christopher M. Branson , Steven Jay Gross

Handbook of Ethical Educational Leadership

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415853903
eBook ISBN: 9780203747582
Adobe ISBN: 9781135011932


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Clearly the 2008 global financial crisis brought the concept of ethical leadership into the international spotlight. Now, after 5 years, has the world really recovered from the physical and psychological devastation caused by the unethical practices of a few individuals and institutions within the banking and investment world? In reality, this incident was only one of a growing number of very serious unethical activities in the political, industrial, religious, media, and education spheres. Within the political sphere there appears to be a growing number of coalition governments as voters become disillusioned and skeptical about whom to support. On the industrial scene, shortsighted leadership decisions are thought to be behind the catastrophic oil pollution incident in the Gulf of Mexico and mining disaster in New Zealand that led to the death of 39 miners. Religious leaders can be seen as civil militia leaders in Ireland, the Middle East, and North Africa or to have concealed unacceptable behavior by some of their ministers. England has witnessed alleged phone hacking by media leaders. Educational leaders have been found to have deliberately mismanaged formal student assessment procedures, while others have misappropriated their institution’s financial and/or physical resources. Unethical leadership has no boundaries. Indeed, the responsibility of leadership is a double-edged sword because it not only provides the opportunity for doing good but also simultaneously provides the opportunity and temptation for advancing one’s own needs, most often at the expense of the needs of others.

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