Essay: Ethics in leadership in the context of the African continent and Tanzania (Page 2 of 2)

Essay details:

  • Subject area(s): Leadership essays
  • Reading time: 19 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: July 20, 2019
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2
  • Ethics in leadership in the context of the African continent and Tanzania Overall rating: 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews.

Text preview of this essay:

This page of the essay has 2315 words. Download the full version above.

As the discussion above illustrates the major three normative theories and justice theory the contextual meaning from deontological point of view in this study implies this, when the leader acts according to his or her duty or on moral principles, the leader acts ethically right regardless of the outcomes. From the teleological perspective, what matters is about leader’s actions result in bringing about something morally good or the greatest good. Deontological theory locates the ethics of an action in the moral intention of the leader and the moral justification for the action. Both deontological and teleological theories are needed to account for the ethics of leaders (Ciulla, 2005:163), just as a good leader has to be ethical and effective. That is, leaders have to do their duties and with some notion of the common good in mind. If Local Government officials were to do their entrusted duties and with the notion of serving the community then unethical practice such as corruption would have no chance at all. The following section discusses about conceptual framework.

2.5 Empirical Background
Brown et al. (2005) cited in Okechukwu (2012:91), remarked that leadership should be major source of ethical guidance in the workplace, but little is known about ethical leadership. This shortfall of research in the ethical leadership is obvious in the public sector, and its ahs an impact of this study, because most of the ethical leadership literature utilized in this study is from private business sector. Ethical leadership becomes even more scarce in the context of the Tanzanian Local Government Authorities. As a result, I explored in other fields, precisely in the private business sector to understand how the leadership concept could be employed in Local Government Authorities to achieve good governance outcomes Still, it is to stress that this idea does not invalidate the credibility of this study because any leadership paradigm develop in one sector can be used in another sector without affecting the foundational principles of ethical leadership.
Brown et al.(2005) cited by Okechukwu (2012:91)conducted seven different but interrelated studies to examine the viability and significance of an ethical leadership construct. They employed a qualitative research method. Ethical leadership was an independent variable while honesty, behavior, consideration of others were treated as dependent variables. The results show that ethical leadership is related to consideration behavior, interaction fairness, honest, idealized influence, and effective trust in leader.

Ponu and Tennakoon (2009) as cited in Okechukwu (2012:92) conducted in Malaysia. A qualitative research methodology was used to examine the impact of ethical leadership behavior on employee attitudinal outcomes and trust regarding organizational commitment and trust in leaders. Ethical leadership was treated as independent variable while employee organizational loyalty was treated as dependent variables. Questionnaire technique was used to collect data. The outcomes indicated that ethical leaders’ behavior has impact on both the employee and organizational commitment and trust in leadership

Dibie (2003) cited in Okechukwu 2012:94) conducted study on the performance of local government public servants and citizens participation in governance in Nigeria, Dibie used a mixed method approach. Questionnaires, interview and documentary analysis were used as tools for collecting data. The outcomes indicated that most of Local government Councils in Nigeria lacks qualified personnel, adequately trained staff or trained programmes for their stuff. Moreover, the findings show that the citizen’s participation in Local Government elections is declining.

Zhu (2008) as cited by Okechukwu (2012:93) conducted a study to examine ethical leadership influences the moral development of followers. Quantitative method approach was employed. The author treated ethical leadership as independent variable while follower’s psychological empowerment and moral integrity as dependent variables. The results indicated that ethical leadership has a positive effect both o follower moral integrity and psychological empowerment.

2.6. Conceptual Framework

The previous subsection described the theoretical framework used in this study. This part provides a conceptual framework derived from scholars’ views. According to Miles and Huberman (1984:18), define a conceptual framework as a tool that, ‘explains, either graphically or in narrative form, the main things to be studied – the key factors, constructs or variables – and the presumed relationships among them’. The model for this study relies on Brown and Trevino et al. Brown et al., (2005:120) defined ethical leadership as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and promotion of such conduct to the followers through two-way…”. From this definition, Brown et al. (2005:120-21) enumerated the constitutive components of ethical leadership as follows: a) demonstration of appropriate conduct such as honest, trustworthiness, fairness, and cares in their behavior and model such to followers b) making ethics as salient factors; communicate unambiguously regarding ethics and provide followers with just interpersonal process to express their views; c) reward ethical conduct and punish the disobedient ones; c) make decisions based on principles and justice. The concept of ethical leadership according to Brown et al.’s (2005:120) corresponds to what Trevino et al., (2000:597) regarded as two-fundamental pillars for ethical leadership. According to Trevino et al., those who are perceived as ethical leaders are characterized as moral both personally and in their roles as leaders. They also encouraged the issue of accountability with reward system. Thus, in this study the following factors as adapted from Brown et al. (2005:120) and Trevino et al., (2000:597) of person integrity, honest and concern for people, trustworthiness, openness (transparency), fairness (justice), accountability, participation and competency were used as criteria to investigate on citizens’ perspectives on ethical leadership for good governance in Local Government Authorities. The following part discusses the above-mentioned constitutive components (elements) of ethical leadership.

2.6.1 Justice/fairness and rule of law
According to Rawls (1999:3-4) as cited in ( “justice is about giving each his or her fair due of reward or punishment. …”.Legal orders as a system of public rule can be addressed to rational persons for the purpose of regulating the conduct and providing a framework for social cooperation. One kind of unjust action is the failure of judges and others in authority to apply the appropriate rule or interpret it correctly. The rule of law must be impartial to everyone in the sense of fair treatment before the law; we may call “justice as regularity” (Rawls, 1971:207-8). The society is well ordered when it is designed to advance the good of its members as well as when it is effectively regulated by public conception of justice. That is, in the society whereby (i) everyone accepts and knows that the others accept the same principles of justice, and (ii) the basic social institutions generally satisfy and are generally known to satisfy the principle (Rawls, 1971:4). Therefore, the rule of law demands the existence of impartial and incorruptible judiciary in order to achieve good governance in Local Government Authorities in Tanzania. The following discussion is on accountability and transparency.

2.6.2 Accountability and transparency
Accountability is an inevitable part of public management. It is a system in public institutions where by public officers are held accountable for their actions or omissions in decision-making (Hope, 2005:298). Hope (2005:296) noted, “transparency is closely associated with the successful implementation of good governance…” A public servant can be held legally accountable to accomplish the terms of the agreement related to his or her professional services under the rule of law on the behalf of public interest. Hence, accountability refers to the obligation of public officials to give a report on how they used the public resources and as they answer for their failure to meet the stated performance objectives (Armstrong, 2005:1). According to Kakumba & Flourie (2007:651) there are three key reasons for accountability, especially in the public organization: (a) to ensure control of abuse and misuse of public power; (b) to ensure effective use of public resources and adherence to procedural law and public service values; (c) to encourage learning and continuous improvement in governance and public management. Mostly, public leaders in South of Sub Saharan Africa tend to see their public positions as person inheritance property, that they often struggle to secure by “the selective distribution of favors and material benefits to loyal followers who are regarded and treated as clients” (Hope2005:298). Under this patrimonial nature of public officials in African region, undermines good governance and inhibits the prospect of achieving sustainable development (Hope, 2005: 299). Therefore, the public officials entrusted with the power to serve the public interest and common good have to discharge their duties with accepted standards of ethics and conduct. Hope (2005:296) observed that the governance record in African region shows poor level of public accountability and hence needs to be improved. The transparency of decision-making and resource management for the public examination should be documented and accessible for the public inspection. Nevertheless, the situation of accountability and transparency from the literature review on Local Governments in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria was not effective. In the Local Government Authorities that lack accountability then an abuse of public offices is high. Hope (2005:296) transparency enhances public trust and allows identification of possible acts of corruption and as well as permitting the time for corrective measures. Free availability and accessibility of an information to the people affected by the government’s decisions helps to reduce uncertainty and control corruption among public officials (Hope, 2005:296). The next discussion bases on equality, participation and merit system.

2.6.3 Participation and inclusiveness
Participation as a principle of good governance includes conducting free and fair elections, ensuring that all citizens have a voice in their local public affairs. It is through the consultative process that diversity of views and voices within a social organization can be heard and taken into consideration in the process of collective decision-making. Participation allows the decisions to reflect truthfully and justly the needs of the members of the society. The public services should be inclusive and should serve all equally. This requires a basic recognition by public institutions and public officials of the reality of the oneness of humanity. According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) Article 1, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The principle of inclusiveness relates to fundamental social justice in service to the common good. ( The next section deals with ethical principle of trustworthiness.

2.6.4 Person integrity and honest, truth and trust
Person integrity is the quality of being honesty and having strong moral principles. Honesty is so crucial in both public and private administration in managing the resources. For instance, stealing, the acceptance of bribes and lying are all forms of dishonesty that lead to corruption. Dishonest behavior by public officials creates public distrust towards the institutions that are supposed to serve that society (
At the individual level, integrity is more than ethics; it is all about the character of the person. The individuals with personal integrity do consistently what is right as well as what is expected of them. They are trustworthy and knowable in serving others and they are defenders of what is fair and acceptable (

2.6.5 Concern for the people
The public servants should fulfill the moral imperative by using their official position to serve the public interest. Both personal and institutional commitment to the core moral value of serving the common good is source of natural motivation to sustain the efforts and perseverance often needed to promote social transformation and human development. A significant role of moral leadership in the society has to do with constructing consensus on the shared core values that define the common good. The commitment to maintain the common good should be public official’s primary motive for combating corruption. Selfishness does not serve the common good. Service to the common good should be based on human development. Public services should respect human dignity. People should not be made fell ignorant or inferior when receiving services that are due to them. People should be served in way that truly respects and enhances their human dignity.

2.6.6 Efficient and effectiveness (Competency)
According to Ciulla (1995) as noted in Ciulla (2005:161), a good leader is an ethical and effective leader. The use of “good” here has two senses, morally good leadership and technically good leadership. It is immoral for a leader to be incompetent (Ciulla, 2011:235). The fulfillment of the role of trusteeship requires the efficient and effective use of public resources in the service of the public interest and the common good. There must a systematic monitoring and evaluation of the efficient delivery of services and their impact are very important responsibility of trusteeship. The issue of ethical leadership is inseparable from competency. Therefore, the figure below shows the relationship among variables of this framework.
Figure 2.1: Conceptual Framework

Source: Researcher Own Design (2015).

The above-mentioned empirical researches proved that ethical leadership has positive impacts on both public and private sectors. However, those empirical studies were conducted outside of Tanzania. Therefore, there are two gaps: (i) geographical gap and (i) knowledge gap. These gaps will be filled by this study. The studies showed that ethical leadership is workable and successful model of leadership that constitutes impact positive results in any organizational sector. From the extant literature review provides the characteristics of ethical leadership including honesty, trustworthy, just and fair, considerate altruistic, respect of human dignity and focusing on the common good. Therefore, it is only individual with some qualifications that can truly run a government that is accountable and transparency to the citizenry. On the foundation of the four ethical theories one can judge his or her actions as right or wrong. Among the four ethics theories as explored the above, deontological and utilitarian ethics seem to be more prominent in the sphere of public administration. To a large degree, both public service and professional ethics depend on both deontological and utilitarian ethics on decision-making. Once theory argued is not to be adequate in the developing countries such as Tanzania. Thus, there was a need of conducting a study to investigate citizens’ perspectives on ethical leadership for good governance in Local Government Authorities in Kinondoni Municipality, Tanzania. The next chapter discusses about research methodology.

...(download the rest of the essay above)

About this essay:

This essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

Essay Sauce, Ethics in leadership in the context of the African continent and Tanzania. Available from:<> [Accessed 14-10-19].

Review this essay:

Please note that the above text is only a preview of this essay.

Review Title
Review Content

Latest reviews: