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The Leadership Experience 7th Edition

The Leadership Experience (7th Edition)

Book Edition7th Edition
PublisherCengage Learning
End of Chapter
"What Should I Say?"
The Boy, the Girl, the Ferryboat Caption, and the Hermits
Chapter 6, End of Chapter, DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, Exercise 1
Page 188

What are some pressures you face as a student that challenge your ability to do the right thing? Do you expect to face more or fewer pressures as a leader? Discuss what some of these pressures might be.


  • Moral leadership relies on the capacity of a leader to uphold ethical practices despite temptations and societal pressures. The factors that affect moral leadership and decision-making may either be internal or external. Personal values are examples of internal factors, while societal pressures such as peer pressure and role models are examples of external factors.
  • More challenges and pressures are experienced by leaders compared to students. The position of a leader entails more responsibilities and expectations, which may cause external influences to affect moral leadership. Students are less affected by these influences because they only have to make decisions for themselves.

Sample Response

A student's moral decision-making may be pressured or influenced by peer pressure, cultural expectations, and personal needs. These pressures challenge a student's ability to do the right thing by making them choose between following moral standards or pursuing their personal benefit. 


Peer pressure and cultural expectations happen due to the need of students to fit in with their group of friends or their cultural group, which causes them to be more accepting towards the influence and views of their peers and traditions. Peers may influence other students to cut classes to meet up with friends. Students may also be influenced to cheat in an exam due to the influence of their peers or cultural group that do not view cheating as morally incorrect. Personal needs involve the temptation of committing acts that are self-benefiting but considered unethical by society. The need of a student to pass the subject may influence the action of taking unearned credit for an assignment to get better grades.


Leaders face more ethical challenges than students because they have more responsibilities that require moral decision-making. The responsibility of a leader to balance different interests puts them into a position that is vulnerable to influences, pressures, and other forms of unethical behavior. Leaders experience moral dilemmas when they are made to choose between upholding to what they believe is right or giving in to moral pressures.


Leaders are pressured by performance results, stakeholders, and powerful authorities that have their own agenda and demands. Some leaders may be tempted to avoid following moral standards due to the need to achieve better results to avoid being removed from their position. Powerful authorities and other stakeholders may also ask leaders to bend rules through threats, promises, or bribes for their own benefit.

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