MGMT 314| Week 6
Managers as Ethical Leaders and Empowering Ethical Employees
One of the most important determinants of whether an organization will have an ethical
organizational culture is leadership. The leaders of an organization set the tone at the top and the
behavior they demonstrate becomes a model for everyone who works under them. In their efforts
to set the tone at the top, leaders can act as different types of role models, use different forms of
power, and practice different types of leadership. This lesson will provide an overview and
examples of each of these. This lesson also will discuss what employees want from a job.
Employees are motivated by a variety of things, and, using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to
frame the discussion, this lesson will cover what these needs are and how employees can meet
Examine the application of leadership concepts and ethical theories in the business
Tone at the Top
The leaders of an organization set the
tone at the top
, which determines the type of organizational
culture that will prevail. Tone at the top can be defined as the ethical atmosphere that the
organization’s leadership creates in the workplace. The tone that an organization’s leaders set
will trickle-down to the rest of the organization’s employees. If the tone at the top makes ethics
and integrity a priority, employees will be more likely to espouse those same morals. But if the
leaders do not make ethics a priority, employees will be less likely to strive to be ethical because
they likely will feel that the organization does not place value on ethical behavior. Research has
indicated that employees take note of their leaders’ behavior and actions, and employees strive to
model the leaders’ conduct. If an organization is to have an ethical organizational culture, it starts
with leadership setting an ethical tone at the top (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners).
Tone at the Top
The ethical atmosphere that the organization’s leadership creates in the workplace.
Types of Leadership Role Models: The Opportunist
In their efforts to be role models, leaders may assume a certain style. This lesson will review four
of these styles—the opportunist, diplomat, technician, and achiever. Let’s first look at the
opportunist as role model.
What Defines an Opportunist?