Leadership can be defined as the process in which leaders influence their followers to achieve predefined organisational goals (Yukl, 2010). A leader is a person who the subordinates look up to for advices, guidance and also to make decisions which will benefit not only the ones directly involved, but everybody else as well. A leader is an important figure in an organisation because the way the subordinates perform will be the reflection of their leader’s calibre. Therefore, to ensure employees and other staff members to behave and comply with business ethics, the leader must set a good example to them by being ethical. This can also be known as ethical leadership.
Brown, Trevino & Harrison (2005) has defined ethical leadership as it being the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct, shown through personal actions and interpersonal relationships and also the promotion of those conduct to the followers via a two-way communication, reinforcement and decision making. With that definition, it can be said that leaders play a very important role in ensuring that their subordinates behave and act ethically because they are their role model and whatever they do or say are being watched by their subordinates, whether they are aware of it or not. Subordinates, employees, they all watch how their leader acts and react both consciously and unconsciously (Huhtala, Kangas, Lamsa & Feldt, 2011), thus picking up habits and also making their leaders’ actions into model actions to take should similar situations arise again.
This brings about the statement that the employees’ outlook on ethicality is prone to environmental effects (Trevino & Weaver, 2003). Therefore it is the duty of the leader to guide them. It is the leader’s duty to enforce the organisational culture and norms into the employees’ working behaviour. Whether a leader performs...