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How to Be a Positive Leader by Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Jane E. Dutton

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8Lead an Ethical Organization

David M. Mayer

Consider your own work experience for a moment: Have you ever had a boss that you considered unethical, unfair, rude, or sleazy? Likely most of us have had to deal with the difficulties of working for this type of boss. But equally likely, many bosses have also been people we admire, respect, and view as ethical role models. In this chapter, I focus on what it means to be an ethical leader, why it matters, as well as personal strategies and organizational practices that enable bosses to lead ethically.

What is an ethical leader? We typically describe someone as “ethical” if their behavior is consistent with broader societal values and beliefs regarding desired conduct.1 Three key aspects of being an ...

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