A Measure of Ethics

Authored by: Lyse Langlois , Claire Lapointe

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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Change experienced by some democracies can be considered as the transformation of their models of governance. In Western societies, legislation serves as the basis for governing social cohabitation. However, financial scandals and corruption have highlighted the limitations of such an approach, raising complex, challenging issues. These situations have led to concern for integrity, ethics, and standards of transparency and leadership. As a result, there is renewed interest in applied ethics. Far from being abstract concepts, organizational context and work culture are integrated into practical ethics to permeate organizational structures. Consequently, ethical leadership has served as leverage to promote proper governance. Based on research projects conducted within a number of public organizations (schools, municipalities, police, hospitals, and community organizations), we have found that ethical leadership is a specific method of governance. It serves as a complementary means to compensate for legislative shortfalls and resolve current issues so as to ensure harmonious cohabitation in current individualistic and pluralistic societies. In this chapter, we discuss ethical leadership as a new method of governance and its relationship with organizational culture. We also present some of our most recent observations.

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