Leadership: A Case Study on the Importance of Ethics and Trust
Keywords:Ethical Leadership, Corruption, Trust, Organizational Behavior, Nigerian Societal Corruption
AbstractThis research is important because it empirically tests why ethical behavior by business and government leaders is essential for good managementâ€”which is to earn trust from customers and constituentsâ€”thus ensuring organizations are successful, for the greater good, over the long term, especially in the global marketplace. Law and morality are two standards by which business and government leaders are judged, but these norms fail whenever laws are not enforced and morality is disregarded. Five research questions on leadership are statistically tested, using a Likert-scale response measure questionnaireâ€”based on â€œperceptions of societal corruptionâ€ and â€œtrust levels,â€ using Banduraâ€™s â€œaggressive behavior modification theory,â€ as the model for analysis. Nigeria is selected as the location of this case study on leadership ethics and trust, because Nigerian government officials have a long history of unethical and corrupt behavior. Descriptive statistics, along with chi-square quantitative research methods reveals â€œperceptions of societal corruptionâ€ in Nigeria are high and â€œtrust levelsâ€ for government leaders are very low. Leaders in Nigeria are only as ethical as the code-of-conduct prevalent in their countryâ€”where cultural, economic and legal factors contribute to the nationâ€™s corrupt societyâ€”which may cause Nigeria to become a failed state. To change the Nigerian culture of societal corruptionâ€”education is necessaryâ€”to instruct elected officials, civil servants, business leaders and Nigerian society, at large, on the importance of ethics and trust.Nigerian government and business leaders should institute an ethics policyâ€”and implement five suggested reforms presented in this paperâ€”which will help establish government leaderâ€™s ethical integrity and improve citizensâ€™ trust and confidence in their government. Recommendations for future research on government and business leadership ethics and trust are offered. Â
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