The previous chapter explained the background of ethics and its global importance in leadership in the context of the African continent and Tanzania particularly in Local Government Authorities. Corruption is immoral and the outcome of unethical behavior. The purpose of this chapter is to synthesize relevant literature review concerning ethical leadership. The chapter entails the theoretical and conceptual frameworks of ethical leadership. The next part is discussion on ethics and leadership.
2.2 Ethics and Leadership
Leadership is a process by which a leader influences a group of people to achieve a common goal. Salminen (2006:183) expressed the importance of public servants of being both professional and adherence to high moral standards. According to Van Wart (2003:214), stated that effective leadership is that which makes possible the provision of higher quality and efficient goods and services to the citizens with a sense of good direction and vision. Ethical leaders have to care for the necessary needs of their citizens such as health, education and water. A leader should be creative in order to build up a vibrant organizational culture and climate for common good rather than self-interests. Brown et al. (2005:117) note that the frequent publicized ethical scandals and failures in both public and private sectors “have raised the important questions about the role of leadership in shaping ethical conduct” in on organizations. Thus, the leader’s vision, behavior and actions are necessary for positive results, good governance. The following part discusses the importance of ethical leadership.
2.2.1 The importance of ethical leadership
Ethics is very important in leadership in any organizational setting. Menzel (2007:6) noted “ethics are values and principles that guide right and wrong behavior”. Kanungo and Mendonca (1996:3) noted on the importance of ethics in leadership as follows “Effective organizational leaders need ethics as fish need water and human beings need air” According to Northouse (2007:346), ethics are the centrality of leadership whereby leaders help to establish and influence organizational values. Northouse noted that, such an influence has a great ethical burden and responsibility. Kanungo and Mendonca 1996:6) noted that when actions and behavior of leaders fail to be in accordance with the shared values, there is more harm than physical harm. Such ethical failure or compromise can cause moral cynicism, which is compared with a cancer that corrodes the society’s moral health. Therefore, the place and role of ethics in leadership cannot be replaced by competency alone. It leads us to the conclusion that there is no true leadership without ethics. The next part shows relationship between ethics and morality.
2.2.2 Ethics and morality
For Menzel (2007:6), ethics are the rules and principles that guide people as a framework to making good decisions. Morality also deals with the right and wrong decisions or actions of people. Good governance is the outcome of ethical leadership whereby ethical leadership is built on the bases of ethics and morality. A similarity exists between the two terms: ethics and morality. Kanungo and Mendonca (1996:33) noted that ethics and morality are interchangeable terms in the sense that what is ethical also is moral and what is moral also is ethical. Therefore, both moral and ethics concepts are used interchangeably in this study. The next part discusses on ethics in administration and governance.
2.2.3 Ethics in Administration and Governance
Public administration is an instrument by which, through efficient and effective institutions government provides social goods and services that advance socioeconomic and human development. Governance as a process or method in which responsibilities or the public officials discharge functions in serving human beings requires ethical leadership. Menzel (2007:8-9) observed that it is difficult to promote public services without ethical government. Ethics in governance is fundamental to effective and democratic government. He further continues to state that, “ethical governance is vital to effective and democratic. Menzel remarked that good government cannot be achieved with men and women who lack ethical or moral values. The concept of good governance in this context implies the capacity of government to discharge its responsibilities and accountable to citizens in just manner. The public expect from their public officials at all levels of government to utilize public resources for the well-being of the citizenry. Good social services that foster the socioeconomic improvement and strong democratic institutions are indications that a government is practicing good governance to its citizens as good caretaker of the public good. Bowman (2008:62) democratic government and its administration require ethics as preconditions on which all plans and public policies depend on it. The emphasis is on public servants to know their call and serve with commitment the needs of their citizens. The highest standard of ethics is more required in all of public officials though is highly needed in every organization. The administrators in public services should act as servants accountable to the people. Consequently, ethical leadership in public service remains very important for achieving sustainable socioeconomic development and good governance. Good government guarantees “a responsive governmental and administrative framework” (Doig 1995:151), which assists in making good governance and economic development attainable. The next subsection deals with ethics and leadership in developing countries.
2.3 Ethics and Leadership in Developing Countries
The issue of ethical leadership and good governance is a global issue. Nevertheless, in developing countries corruption as unethical practice is widespread. Burn et al., (2011:xi) as cited in Hoseah (2014:3) noted that the theft of public assets from developing countries that are hidden in foreign jurisdictions each year is estimated at 20-40 billion USD. Hoseah (2014:2) stated that the current corruption measurements still rank Africa, especially South of the Sahara, as terribly corrupt. From this reason, it is essential to have a brief study on ethical leadership and good governance in Local Government Authorities particularly in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. The aim of including the above three mentioned countries is to study on how Local Governments affected by unethical practice of corruption. However, Tanzanian local governments will be my place of research about ethical leadership for good governance. The first country next to this discussion is Kenya.
2.3.1 Ethics and leadership in Kenyan local governments
According to Mitullah (2010:1), since the 1999 the Kenya Government has implemented Local Government Reform Programme aimed at structuring the Local government Administration system for improved service delivery. However, the findings of the Kenya Round 4 Afro Barometer Survey revealed that, citizens remain discontented with the performance of Local Officials due to their poor service provision and inability to follow procedures (Mitullah, 2010:1). Moreover, citizens do not trust any more their councilors. Citizens are not allowed to participate in councils’ decisions and in making council’s programme are not known to the ordinary people. The majority of councilors are insufficient qualified in handling public funds and not honesty. The study manifests that, the Local Government officials lack competency and ethics in leadership. The parliament of Kenya enacted the Public Officer Ethics Act of 2003 and the Leadership Integrity Act of 2012 among other laws. Leadership and Integrity Act of 2012 in chapter six of the Constitution of Kenya wants public officers adhere to the principles set out in various legislative provisions. Section 13 of the Act spells out that, the public officers are required to show forth honesty of public affairs subjects to the Public Office Act of 2003. In spite of the elaborate institutional framework ethics and integrate are of great importance in the public service of Kenya, still unethical practices persist. For instance, Kenya Anti –Corruption Commission reports that, corruption permeates in health sector. The findings show that the local councils do not follow democratic procedures. From the findings, we can conclude that the public officials in the local governments in Kenya do not follow the principles of ethical leadership and good governance since some attributes of ethics of leaders and good governance such as transparency, honest, efficient and effectiveness and participation a in decision-making lack (mercury.ethz.ch/…/Files/…/AfrobriefNo89.pdf).The following discussion bases on Zimbabwe.
2.3.2 Ethics and leadership in Zimbabwe Local governments
The system of local governments in Zimbabwe has experienced a lot of changes and challenges during colonial rule and after independence 1980.The decentralization of the local government system in Zimbabwe in the new National Constitution (2013) is positive development. The new Zimbabwe Constitution of (2013) has defined the local government system in detail. However, poor service delivery is experienced in local governments including unpredictable water supplies and roads filled with potholes and become a nightmare for motorists. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) (2008:1) cited in Jonga (2014:82) explained that there has been general dissatisfaction among residents about the level of service delivery. Madzivanyika (2011:33) as cited in Jonga (2014:84) alleged that an efficient and effective provision of services is undermined by a high level of interference from central government in the decision of local governments. The findings revealed that many of councilors are elected on the politics, and qualifications do not matter much when choosing candidates for election (Jonga, 2014:85). Consequently, the issue of ethical leadership and good governance lack in Zimbabwe Local Government Authorities. The failure to elect or appoint professionals who can work properly for the public effectively and efficiently it is unethical. The next part will be on Nigerian local governments.
2.3.3 Ethics and leadership in Nigerian local governments
The 1976 local government reforms in Nigeria meant to promote public service delivery at the grassroots level. Due to the deficiency of ethical practices by local government officials makes the achievement of good governance and service delivery difficult in Nigeria. From the findings according to Okechukwu (2012:260) demonstrated that the local government system in Nigeria is regarded as a place of bribery and corruption because most of the councils’ officials are corrupt, they lack honest and person integrity. The public officials in local governments are not transparent. They do not let people know what they do (Okechukwu, 2012:261).They afraid to be transparent because they know what they do is not right thing hence try to run away from an accountability. It means that there is much secrecy than transparency in Nigerian local government officials. The rule of law is not followed by public officials in Nigerian local governments. For example, the corrupt officials used the public funds to build big houses, buy costly cars for themselves and spouses and still the law has not caught them (Okechukwu, 2012:265). It was found that leaders are not much interested in the public interests but for their own interest. For instance, those in health department were on strike three to four months in Nigeria. People are deprived of receiving medical attention they need particularly when their need is agent (Okechukwu, 2012:271). Thus, most of the local officers see their positions as an opportunity for self-enrichment. The next part discusses on Tanzania.
2.3.4 Ethics and leadership in Tanzanian local governments
Article 145 (1) and 146(1-2) of the 1977 Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania guarantee the establishment of a Local Government system by democratically elected government councils. Article 146 (1-2) specifies the purpose and functions of Local Government Authorities. The purpose of having local government authorities is to transfer authority to the people and participation of people in the planning and implementation of development programmes within their respective areas. The functions of Local Government in its areas are; a) to reform functions of local government, b) ensure the enforcement of law and public safety of the people, and, c) consolidate democracy and apply it to foster the development of the people. Tanzania has adopted a policy of decentralization by devolution; however service delivery not efficient and effective. The next part discusses theoretical frameworks.
2.4 Theoretical Framework
The study was guided by three major normative ethical theories: utilitarian theory, deontological theory, virtuous theory and justice theory. Ethical leadership and good governance emerged in the discussion of these ethical theories including Mill’s consequential theory, Kant’s deontological theory, Aristotle’s virtuous theory and Rawls’ justice theory. Ethical theories give us the principles for guidance and moral decision-making being as individuals or as a group. Northouse (2007) cited in Okechukwu (2012:37), remarked that ethical theories provide principles that enable individuals in deciding what is right or wrong and good or bad in any ethical predicament. Vance & Trani, (2008) as noted in Okechukwu (2012:37) identified the above-mentioned three major ethical theories. Each of the above-mentioned theories articulates and emphasizes particular ethical principles. The next discussion is about utilitarian ethical theory.
2.4.1 Teleological utilitarian ethical theory
According to teleological theories, an action can be judged morally good when the leader’s actions result into something good or the ‘greatest good’ (Ciulla, 2005:163). Bentham argued that the ultimate goal of human action was to achieve pleasure and to avoid pain; these two values govern human actions. The nature has placed humankind under the governance of two supreme masters, pain and pleasure. They determine us in all we do, in all we say; in all we think (Burtt, 1939:791). Teleological ethical theories also known as consequential theories since their principles primarily focus on the outcomes of actions. The right actions are those that promote “the greatest possible…happiness…” (Vance and Trani, 2008: 373). Bentham (1748-1832) and Mill (1806-1873) were two notable proponents of utilitarianism. For Bentham, the ultimate goal of human action was to achieve happiness or pleasure and to avoid pain (Burtt 1939:791). From this point of view, Bentham formulated his moral principle known as the utility principle or the greatest happiness principle. Basing on this perspective, what is considered morally right action is that which produces the maximum quantity of pleasure in favor of the greatest number of people. Mill argued that the principle of utility underpins the normative, ethical theory and our decisions and actions are judged ethically right or wrong to the extent they promote or diminish happiness for people. Therefore, the utilitarian ethical principle guarantees the happiness and well-being of greatest number of people. Bentham insisted that government policies should be in line with the principle of utility, which means that they must be geared toward promoting the well-being of the citizenry rather than diminishing it (Burtt, 1939:791). The foremost task of the government is to serve its citizenry through provision of various needs that will improve their well-being and happiness. The utilitarian ethical point of view encourages those public officials’ actions and policy to focus on improving the well-being of the conditions of life of their people whom they serve. The next theory to be discussed is deontological theory.
2.4.2 Deontological ethical theory
From deontological ethical theory, an action can be judged morally good if a leader acts according to moral principles and on duty regardless of the outcomes ( Ciulla, 2005:163). Deontological ethical theory presents an ethical framework that considers morality as duty or a principle that ought to be followed by everyone. There is a distinction between deontological ethics and teleological ethics. Deontological ethics evaluates and judges ethical merit of an action, not by the consequences as in teleological ethics, but rather on motive based on duty or moral principles (Van staveren, 2007:23). According to deontologists certain action are right in themselves and some are intrinsically bad, no matter their outcomes, therefore, bad action should not be done at all. Deontological ethics provides us with “universal norms that prescribe what people obliged to do, how they should behave, what is right and what is wrong” (Van Staveren, 2007:23; Kropotkin, 1922:21). Kant was the chief proponent and a notable figure in deontological ethical theory. Ciulla (2003:95) as a scholar noted that Kant’s theory “captures the idea of ‘acting’ on principle or doing something simple because it is the right…” From Some scholars observed Kant’s instance that an ethical rule must not be used as a means to an end but must be as end itself. In an attempt to ground all ethical judgment on a rational principle, Kant posited the concept of ‘categorical imperative’ “act only according to that maximum whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (Ciulla, 2003:102). Vance and Trani (2008:373) noted that this maxim supports the equality of all human beings, no individual should be turned into means for others’ ends but people should be treated as an end in themselves. The following is the discussion on Virtue ethical theory.
2.4.3 Virtue ethical theory
Aristotle defined virtue, as the mean between extremes (Ciulla, 2011:234) .According to Aristotle virtues are moral qualities that people acquire from the society and from their legislators. Aristotle (1984:1743) as cited in (Ciulla, 2011:234) writes, ‘Legislators make citizens good by forming habits in them’. Nevertheless, virtues come naturally to those who practice them. For instance, a person may value honesty but he or she never always tells the truth. Aristotle insisted that when a person practices a virtue he or she must always be conscious that it is the right way to be and act. … Therefore, if this is true in every case, the excellence of man also will be the state which makes man good and which makes him do his work well” (Ciulla, 2011:235). The function of humans in accordance with Aristotle is to reason. To be morally virtuous, you must reason well, because the reason tells you how and when to practice a virtue. For Aristotle, the morally virtuous leader must also be a competent leader otherwise, it is immoral for a leader to be incompetent (Ciulla, 2011:235).
Virtues ethics concern with the sort of person an individual ought to be and the kind of life a person ought to live rather than the kind of actions the individual should do (Stewart, 1991:363). The focus of virtue ethics is on the agent rather than on the act on “being rather than on doing” (Stewart 1991:363). Aristotle has been regarded as the leading theorist in virtue ethics theory. Maclntyre (1984:150) noted that Aristotle insisted that the practice of the virtues is very important, for achievement of virtues requires an individual to have the capacity to judge and make choices that lead “to do the right thing in the right place at right time…” In favor of Aristotle, human beings are political animals. The author also claimed that the goal of political science was the formation of “character of the citizen, to make them good people who do fine actions (Irwin, 1999: 12). Ethics helps individual and a community to live happily (Irwin 1999:12). According to Aristotelian tradition, virtues include courage, temperance, generosity, self-control, honesty, sociability, modest, fairness and justice. Hence, according to Aristotle virtuous public administrators have the capacity and disposition to use their positions to enhance prosperity of the people through provision of good governance. Being aware of moral responsibilities, they are committed to discharging their duties with moral integrity. Virtue must be the fundamental aspect of public officials’ character, which guide all their actions and behavior. The next discussion is on justice ethical theory.
2.4.4 Justice ethical theory
According to Rawls (1971:3-4), justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. He articulated the idea of justice as fairness in his work entitled Theory of Justice. Rawls emphasized the importance of justice in social institutions. Rawls contrasts with utility principle by insisted that it would never be right and just to sacrifice the freedom or subject some people to unjust treatment to attain the greatest profit for many. In democratic governance involves equal liberty, individual autonomy, and social justice among others. These values can be realized if only the public leaders were to act from and base their decisions on justice principle. Consequently, the question of ethical leadership and good governance at present parallels the perspectives of deontological and teleological theories in ethics.
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