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Importance of Leadership

Question:

Discuss about the Business Ethics for US Consumer Product Safety.

Leaders are those people who are capable of helping themselves and other people into doing the right things. They are the ones who set the right direction, build up an inspiring vision and go on into creating something new. Leadership is all about the mapping out of where one is required to be going for winning as a team or as an organization and at the same time it is exciting, dynamic and inspiring. Even after that, as leaders set the direction, they also require using management skills for guiding their people in the right destination, in an efficient and smooth way[1].

Leadership is not a one size fits all solution to every problem, nor is it a magic formula that would instantly make anyone a good leader. Instead it is a time taking process that required dedication for learning the way of achieving the goals one set and the way they need inspiration for following the leader and doing the same. Each individual has their own way of doing things, either with the help of rewards, or with providing freedom within the job roles or sharing responsibilities alongside the other employees. Every approach works in a different way for everyone, but every type of leader has developed over time for figuring out their exact style[2].

Discussions regarding leadership in this essay is in context with the Bottle Shock exercise. This exercise asks for individuals to act as they are a part of the person committee and a representative from a department of one manufacturing plant in a large Canadian consumer goods manufacturer. The issue to be faced in this organization as a representative is the recalling of the baby bottles after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission asked for a recall for all the feeding products for infants that have been made out of a specific type of plastic. This would be looking into the situation, analyzing it and then putting it in the context of leadership and responsibility.

Inside the organization, the engineering department is the one taking care of all the things related to product concept specification or the different prototypes from the marketing department and the development of an engineering design which could be manufactured with the help of equipment and production lines inside the plant. The department also takes care of the design modification of the products and the production lines at different times within the lifecycle of the product. As there has been no engineering problems which has turned out unsolvable on time by the department, it has been a matter to be proud and confident about. Reviewing the research on the product recall and determining if at all the product is unsafe. In doing so it was found that the recall was just based on one single study of the general properties of the bottles and the plastic used for it, and that the harmful health effects were very minute and much lower than the previous thresholds for human use. There is no need for the recall. With the help of further research it was found that another study has shown that there are no adverse effects found in infants from their exposure to the bottles and the plastic used in it. Based on these findings and the science involved it can be easily believed that the recall was unnecessary. Instead of that exporting can be a good idea, as the research has shown that the bottles are safe for use by humans and that implies that the worldwide market is open for the bottles to be sold out.

Different Leadership Styles and Methods


Taking time out now for redesigning the existing products would be hard for fitting into the project schedule the staff needs to be well organized and the project schedule would be filled completely for more than 120 days. The estimation has been done on redesigning the products and production line for using a different plastic that would require taking approximately 2 months. Alternately, starting on redesigning immediately would be posing different kind of a problem - beginning with something fresh at this time would be delaying the other projects that have already seen approval and received their schedule. There have been attempts in the past made for making the department heads from Marketing and Production ready for assisting in the prioritization of what is needed to be done. Schedules for engineering are difficult to make and if it is once made then it needs to be followed for efficient running of the plant. From an ethical perspective the work of the engineering team is m to be proud of and it is evident that there are responsibilities for both the company and the consumer health and safety. The senior leadership team were open for any other options if needed and suggested, provided they are realistic. The only condition on the suggestions are that the solutions must be ready for operation implementation as soon as possible due to the fact that the product recalling is scheduled for immediate start.


In every organization, leadership is a critical aspect. Workers of every organization are looking for someone they can look up to, someone they can learn from and thrive with. Each leader has their own specific style and strategy. Moreover, leadership styles and methods differ due to external influences and individual challenges. Even though leadership is special for everyone, there are some common methods of defining the term[3]. Leadership is the embodiment of decisiveness, focus, awareness, accountability, confidence, empathy, honesty, optimism and inspiration. Leaders are not present for simply ordering their workers around. Even though they are responsible for overseeing their team, a real leader is always up for taking initiative and trusting their employees for performing efficiently and independently. If the company has any positive culture they the employees get more motivation and confidence for doing their job. Leaders are the person responsible for setting the tone for both the team they are overseeing and the organization as a whole. It is the responsibility of the leaders for establishing goals, innovating, motivating and trusting. A compassionate and passionate leader has the capability of energizing the company[4]. Good leaders are always looking for their whole company to succeed, involving everyone. They take time understanding each worker so that they can provide them with help for achieving their personal goals that are aligned with those of the organization. A good leader puts the people around in a situation that prepares them for success. A good leader holds their emption in check in tough situations and guides the team during challenging times, encouraging them towards remaining positive all along the way. Team morale is largely contingent on the attitude of the leaders. Leadership has the capability of seeing the problem and giving the solution. Leaders cannot and must not be alone. Leaders must ask for developing more leaders from the get-go. Great leaders also recruit and motivate other great leaders, whom they rely on for carrying out the mission and instilling a sense of purpose that would be touching every staff member. Leaders build their employees for becoming as successful as they are[5].

Qualities of a Good Leader

Being a bad leader is an easy job, and history has provided many instances of this. In the Bottle Shock exercise, there has been a need of a good leader. What the exercise got was not what can be considered as the appropriate leadership approach for the situation. The exercise received an unresponsive leader, someone who faced issues getting connected emotionally. Disregard was present in the context of the needs or the requests of those around them as that being trivial or unimportant. There was a lack of strong leadership, lack of strong leaders who would be taking up the responsibility for their defense and actions with regards to the situation around them. There was present only the blame game and evasion of responsibilities[6]. Gaining morale from the team became a tough job. Change was not welcomed always, as risk adverse nature of people made them avoid any form of change that are required for the developments to take place and for the advancement to happen. There was focus only on those ideas that backed up the perspectives that are detrimental to the growth of the organization but beneficial for individual development. Differing opinions got disregarded and no engagement was seen with the person who is speaking up. Inconsistent behavior was seen from the side of the leader, who were able to swiftly convince people that they are not reliable or capable enough at the mouth of the project starting. It left team baffled and confused, which in turn raised the probability of expensive and time consuming errors and missed connections. There was no presence of acknowledgement or appreciation of the team, even if there was good performance. The teams received no push for achieving more and no recognition was meted out if something good happens. It led to the people refusing to not work outside their comfort zone and they had no motivation of wishing to do so in future also. There was failure noticed in informing others of the decisions that were being made. No clarification was provided on important things that were related with important people and it was difficult to understand situations[7].

Leaders are required in organizations for guiding or saying things what other cannot say or do. Leaders are not any different than others. But leadership is an attitude. Each person has a different mindset and different personality traits. At times, there has been instances where the subordinates have outshined the leader and then got elected as the leader, all because of the attitude. There is a need for being in the front, being daring and willing to face it as it comes[8]. What was required in the Bottle Shock exercise is a leader who digs out the hidden potential out of his team members. A real leader tries to bring out the best in the people working under and motivate them into expanding their abilities and keep improving them. It is the work of the leader to inflate the shy people with huge confidence and get their due reverence and acknowledgement in the organization and the society. Leaders must have delivered the mighty power of making decisions more confidently. The leaders in this situation must have proactively looked for replacements, chosen their successors wisely for carrying out their responsibilities responsibly[9]. Failure in Bottle Shock can only arise if there is failure in this, with the result coming out as struggle and vanishing for the organization. A good leader would have loved to see the subordinates grow. Some of the managers are always scared of their outstanding team members. There is the notion that the smarter team member would anytime overtake them and go up the ladder. This fear led them into undermining the real performers. They forgot that if the subordinates grow then they would grow as well. The real leader should have nurtured their team member as their own. There was a need of providing appreciation when expectations were exceeded. They should not have missed any opportunity of encouraging such bright team members and also should have recognized them in front of everyone. There is a need of leaders who would help everyone grow, both personally and professionally. Leaders need to work hard for earning the respect and get recognized. There is a need of great leaders in this world. The most important fact is that even leaders look for leaders[10].

Consequences of Bad Leadership


A business manager or leader is burdened with a lot of responsibilities, which includes legal ones and moral ones both. Moral responsibility might be distinct, implying each worker in the company is responsible for doing the right things, or fulfilling communal responsibilities, which involves all the employees. The culture of a company most of the time dictates the significance of moral responsibilities inside the organization[11]. No questions can be raised regarding the current scenario, which has prompted several companies into tackling ethical issues. More and more people are into setting of moral values as a significant part of their corporate culture. Some of the most forward looking companies have started offering ethics trainings to their employees and managers. Companywide ethics awareness is a great thing, and the moral center of every organist ion is lying within their leaders[12]. These leaders are and is always required to be held at a higher standards of ethics and morality, which was not seen in case of Bottle Shock.

Business ethics today is a significant part of doing business all over the world. The society today has come not just to be expecting, but also to demanding that every business is conducting themselves in accordance with the basic rules of ethics, integrity and honesty[13]. Business ethics, not just as an academic topic but also as a growing topic of actual practices, is not just the new trend, but is something that is developing and has come a long way since the publicizing of price-fixing and many other corporate scandals in the late 1960s and 1970s. The recent scandals have been able to serve to a the reinforcement of a widespread perception that usual business is no longer enough for attending to the financial bottom line. The topic of leadership is linked closely to ethics, with the involvement of linked values for human behaviors for the accomplishment of objectives and mission. It has been for long that business leaders have recognized their major role in the promotion of ethical conduct in their businesses[14].

Conclusion

Leaders are those people who are capable of helping themselves and other people into doing the right things. Leadership is all about the mapping out of where one is required to be going for winning as a team or as an organization and at the same time it is exciting, dynamic and inspiring. Leadership is not a one size fits all solution to every problem, nor is it a magic formula that would instantly make anyone a good leader. Instead it is a time taking process that required dedication for learning the way of achieving the goals one set and the way they need inspiration for following the leader and doing the same. Each individual has their own way of doing things, either with the help of rewards, or with providing freedom within the job roles or sharing responsibilities alongside the other employees. Discussions regarding leadership in this essay is in context with the Bottle Shock exercise. This exercise asked for individuals to act as they are a part of the person committee and a representative from a department of one manufacturing plant in a large Canadian consumer goods manufacturer. This was looked into the situation, analyzing it and then putting it in the context of leadership and responsibility.

References and Bibliography

Amabile, T., & Kramer, S. (2012). How leaders kill meaning at work. McKinsey Quarterly, 1(2012), 124-131.

Brown, R. C. (2013). Moral responsibility for (un) healthy behaviour. Journal of Medical Ethics, medethics-2012.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

DesJardins, J. R., & McCall, J. J. (2014). Contemporary issues in business ethics. Cengage Learning.

Du, S., Swaen, V., Lindgreen, A., & Sen, S. (2013). The roles of leadership styles in corporate social responsibility. Journal of business ethics, 114(1), 155-169.

Groysberg, B., & Slind, M. (2012). Leadership is a conversation. Harvard business review, 90(6), 76-84.

Hanson, B. (2013). The leadership development interface: Aligning leaders and organizations toward more effective leadership learning. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 15(1), 106-120.

Hartman, L. P., DesJardins, J. R., & MacDonald, C. (2014). Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity and social responsibility. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hoffman, W. M., Frederick, R. E., & Schwartz, M. S. (Eds.). (2014). Business ethics: Readings and cases in corporate morality. John Wiley & Sons.

Jennings, M. M. (2014). Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings. Cengage Learning.

Kim, T. Y., & Kim, M. (2013). Leaders’ moral competence and employee outcomes: The effects of psychological empowerment and person–supervisor fit. Journal of business ethics, 112(1), 155-166.

Kramer, R. M., & Pittinsky, T. L. (Eds.). (2012). Restoring trust in organizations and leaders: Enduring challenges and emerging answers. OUP USA.

Nixon, P., Harrington, M., & Parker, D. (2012). Leadership performance is significant to project success or failure: a critical analysis. International Journal of productivity and performance management, 61(2), 204-216.

Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.

Schyns, B., & Schilling, J. (2013). How bad are the effects of bad leaders? A meta-analysis of destructive leadership and its outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), 138-158.

Stanwick, P., & Stanwick, S. (2013). Understanding business ethics. Sage.

Thorn, I. M. (2012). Leadership in international organizations: Global leadership competencies. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 15(3), 158.

Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.

Weiss, J. W. (2014). Business ethics: A stakeholder and issues management approach. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Western, S. (2013). Leadership: A critical text. Sage.

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[Accessed 13 June 2024].

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