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Power And Moral Leadership

Reflect on the important ethical concept that power and self-interest without restraint can lead to corruption. Why do some powerful people behave in a corrupt manner? What causes some in power to believe they are immune to criticism or sanctions? Conversely, why do some powerful leaders exercise restraint even in the face of enormous opportunities to behave unethically or in their own self-interest?
Reference Zimbardo’s 11 step plan for civic virtue (Chapter 5 in Moral Leadership) to analyze and evaluate ways in which power is or is not restrained in an organization in which you have worked or with which you are familiar. Apply the leveling mechanisms discussed by Keltner, Langner and Allison (Chapter 7 in Moral Leadership) and Hill’s discussion of exercising moral courage (Chapter 12 in Moral Leadership) in developing your arguments.
In a paper of NO MORE THAN 2,100 words (excluding title, abstract and reference pages), critically evaluate the steps Zimbardo outlined and discuss how at least five of these steps relate to the organization you are evaluating. Discuss whether or not the types of leveling mechanisms discussed by Keltner et al. are present in the organization. Then, incorporate recommendations from Hill and from Keltner et al. to identify and defend at least three important guidelines for restraining power and self-interest in the organization you are evaluating.
Hartman, L. P. & DesJardins, J. R., & MacDonald, C. (2017). Business ethics: Decision-making for personal integrity & social responsibility (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • Chapter 8: Ethics and Marketing
  • Chapter 10: Ethical Decision Making: Corporate Governance, Accounting, and Finance

Rhode, D. L. (Ed.).  (2006). Moral leadership: The theory and practice of power, judgment, and policy.  San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Chapter 10: Strategic Philanthropy and Its Malcontents (Author: Brest, P.)
  • Chapter 11: Ethics and Philanthropy (Author: Sievers, P.)
  • Chapter 12: Exercising Moral Courage: A Developmental Agenda (Author: Hill, L. A.)
  • Review Chapters 5, 6, and 7


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