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Ethical Leadership

Read case 16 'Ethical Leadership at Cardinal IG: The Foundation of a Culture of Diversity' (prescribed text, pp.563-571) - click here to download case 16. This case study is an example of good companies where an ethical culture has been created and promoted, meaning that the ethical issues such as discrimination at work has been minimised.   You will investigate what Cardinal's leaders have done to create an ethical culture, and use and refine the literature review conducted for Assessments 1 & 2 as well as other academic sources to support your responses to the four questions indicated below.

1. How has David Pinder embraced ethical leadership to create an ethical culture at Cardinal IG?

2. Refer to the moral philosophies discussed in Module 7. Identify and explain two possible moral philosophies that David Pinder has followed. Give reasons for why you identified these moral philosophies.

3. How has Cardinal's principles and values shaped the ethical behaviour of employees?

4. How has Cardinal empowered its employees to practice responsible and accountable leadership?



Leadership is the process of developing ideas and visions, sharing the created vision, living by values that support those ideas and visions, influencing others to live by values and making tough decisions as and when required (Adair, 2009). Thus, ideas, vision, living by values, inspiring others and decision-making are the five key attributes of leadership (Adair, 2009). Leadership and management are two sides of the same coin that must go hand in hand in a balanced equilibrium. Leaders are not only responsible for motivating their employees to achieve organisational goals but also motivate them to strive for excellence, personal and moral growth while they work together as a team to achieve common goals. Leadership is encouraging others to become better leaders and live by values while chasing career goals (Bertocci, 2009). Effective communication is the key to successful leadership which in turn is essential for the growth and development of any organisation.
Discipline and love are the two forces that led to the development of an ethical culture at Cardinal IG plant in Fargo. This report aims at analysing and evaluating the contribution of David Pinder as an ethical leader in creating an ethical culture at Cardinal IG plant in Fargo. It studies the two moral philosophies followed by David Pinder that helped the company in achieving its desired vision. It studies the role of company’s values and principles in shaping the ethical behaviour of employees and how its employees were empowered to practice responsible and accountable leadership. Development of an ethical culture where employees are treated with respect and dignity and issues related to work discrimination are minimised, helped Cardinal IG plant in Fargo, outperform all others in terms of financial performance and production efficiency.  It has the largest workforce diversity as compared to others, more than 50 percent of its employees are New American employees who either speak no or limited English and have left their home country due to unfavourable conditions. Stories of these employees are the greatest strength of this ethical organisation that considers its employees as its most precious resource.

1. How has David Pinder embraced ethical leadership to create an ethical culture at Cardinal IG?

Ethical leadership is directed by respect for ethical values and beliefs and for the rights and dignity of others (Waluchow, 2003). Honesty, trust, charisma, consideration and fairness are the key attributes of ethical leadership (Avery & Bergsteiner, 2011). The significance of ethical behaviour is recognised by ethical leaders and they know what their values. Encouraging their followers to take leadership roles and mentoring them in the process is the uniqueness of ethical leaders (Zerbe, et al., 2008). This unique strength of ethical leaders fosters their development within the organisations. Ethical leaders ensure that they develop future leaders who are trained effectively to take up leadership roles whenever required. They increase the overall functioning of the organisation ensuring a large number of resources is available in times of crisis and challenges (Armstrong & Stephens, 2005). David Pinder embraced this unique characteristic of ethical leadership to create an ethical culture at Cardinal IG plant in Fargo. Since the very beginning, Pinder focused on hiring individuals with a positive attitude, leadership potential, and a passion for learning the business and teaching others, rather than hiring glass experts. He just emphasized on developing future leaders who value their employees’ well-being, growth and development more than anything else. Pinder’s vision for the organisation and its culture was very clear and he had the plan to develop that culture and maintain it. He recognised that culture of an organisation played a very vital role in achieving its vision.

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