MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample – Business Dissertation 2022

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Ethical leadership is essential to operate organizational activities and manage the employees. This research is conducted based on the role of ethical leadership in global organizations. This research is focused on the concept of ethical leadership to identify the benefits of ethical leadership in global organizations.

The introduction chapter is prepared to discuss a brief overview of the research topic. The introduction chapter includes the background of the study, problem statement, research scope, and research objectives. The background of the study section includes a brief overview of ethical leadership and its role in global organizations. Organizational growth depends on effective leadership practices, and this situation is discussed in the problem statement section.

1.2 Background of the study

Ethical leadership helps organizations to address the morals, collaborative values, and beliefs of the employees. According to Engelbrecht, Heine, and Mahembe (2017), ethical leadership has a significant contribution to developing organizational performance and maintaining business workflow.

Ethical leaders are able to inspire their employees and improve the overall flow of business activities. According to Feng, Wang Lawton, and Luo (2019), global organizations give a lot of attention to ethical leadership practices because it helps the organizations to maintain the industry standards. Ethical leadership practices allow leaders to nurture their employees according to industry trends and company values.

Ethical leadership practices help global organizations to maintain healthy organizational behaviour and preserve company culture. According to Ko et al. (2018), employees are an integral part of an organization, and appropriate leadership styles are required to manage the employees.

Ethical leaders handle various departments such as product development, accounting, IT, sales, and human resources. According to Lin, Yip Ho, and Sambasivan (2020), Proper knowledge of ethical leadership practices is required to maintain the organizational culture and bring improvements in organizational performance. Business leaders need to develop an environment of transparency to encourage the employees and improve productivity.

1.3 Problem statement

Global organizations focus on developing effective leadership practices to maintain sustainable business growth. According to Asif, Qing, Hwang, and Shi (2019), global organizations experience various issues such as establishing policies, maintaining consistency, and building a healthy atmosphere to implement ethical leadership.

However, organizations often ignore these issues and it restricts them to improve their business performance. Appropriate leadership practices are required to achieve a noticeable change in organizational performance. Global organizations need to adopt effective leadership strategies to utilize ethical leadership practices.

Maintaining work consistency inside the organizations is a complex task and organizations often fail to maintain consistency. According to Shafique, Kalyar, and Ahmad (2018), Organizations fail to adopt ethical leadership because they do not focus on identifying internal roadblocks.

Internal elements such as business structure, people, strategies, and policies need to be addressed to adopt ethical leadership practices. Analysis of organizations’ internal issues is required to identify effective strategies and maintain a healthy work environment. Ethical leadership practices can help organizations to maintain a healthy work environment by influencing and encouraging the employees through effective collaboration.

1.4 Scope of the study

This research study is conducted based on ethical leadership practices and their role in organizational performance. This study can help to understand how businesses can utilize ethical leadership to improve their business performance. The ways in which ethical leadership can be improved can be identified through this research study.

The impact of ethical leadership on organizational culture and employee performance can be evaluated using this research. The internal roadblocks of the organizations which restrict the organizations to practice ethical leadership can be explored using this study. The importance of ethical leadership in developing business culture and performance can be identified using this research.

Steps need to be followed in order to adopt ethical leadership that can be explored through this study. This research study can provide key insights on the influence of organizational culture and employee performance in organizational development.

1.5 Research aim and objective

This research study aims to identify the benefits of ethical leadership by evaluating the role of ethical leadership in the growth of global organizations.

The objective of this research are as follows

  • To identify the ways in which ethical leadership can be improved in order to facilitate growth in an organization.
  • To evaluate the impact of ethical leadership on organizational culture and the performance of the employees.

1.6 Research questions

The research questions of this study are as follows

Q1. What are the ways global organizations can follow to improve ethical leadership to facilitate organizational growth?

Q2. How does ethical leadership impact the organizational culture and employee performance?

1.7 Rationale

This research study is conducted to find out the role of ethical leadership in improving ethical performance. The study is prepared to identify the ways that can be followed by global organizations to improve ethical leadership. Global organizations often face various challenges to adopt ethical leadership and the study aims to explore these challenges.

This research is prepared to explore the impact of ethical leadership on organizational culture and employee performance. The strategies that global organizations need to follow in order to facilitate organizational growth are evaluated in this research. This study is conducted to analyse how internal roadblocks can affect organizational growth and the role of ethical leadership in solving these roadblocks.

The role of ethical leadership in shaping the future of the global organization is evaluated by identifying the key benefits of ethical leadership.

1.8 Significance of the study

This research study has the potential to provide reliable and accurate data on ethical leadership and its role in organizational growth. The following study has the ability to provide key insights on the ways that can be followed to improve ethical leadership inside an organization. This study signifies the need for ethical leadership practices in the global organization.

The study will be able to provide knowledge on organizational culture and employee performance and how these factors can be improved using ethical leadership. According to Kim and Thapa (2018), ethical leadership can help organizations to get the best out of their employees by establishing a culture of trust and respect inside the organization.

This research can provide reliable knowledge on ethical leaders and their ability to establish a healthy organizational culture. This research can provide key insights on the internal elements the organization needs to focus on to facilitate organizational growth.

1.9 Outline of the study

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 1.1: Outline of the study

(Source: MS Word)

The structure of this research consists of five chapters such as introduction, literature review, research methodology, findings and discussion, conclusions, and recommendations. The first chapter of the research provided a brief overview of the research topic. The literature review chapter provides an in-depth discussion of the research topic.

The literature review section includes the concept of ethical leadership, theories, and models, challenges of ethical leadership, the role of ethical leadership in developing organizational culture and employee performance. Research methodology chapter knowledge on how the research data is collected and include research philosophy, approach, design, and data collection methods. Findings and discussion consist of the results obtained from the analysis of data. The Conclusion section provides an in-depth justification of the results obtained from the data.

1.10 Summary

The research has mentioned the background of the study which is based on the role of ethical consideration in organizations’ growth. The research aim, objective, and research questions are discussed in the introduction chapter. The scope, significance, and rationale of the research are discussed in this chapter.

2. Literature review

2.1 Introduction

Ethical leadership addresses a set of values and beliefs which are recognized by the majority of the industry from a common interest. This research is designed to evaluate the role of ethical leadership on organizational growth. Ethical leaders honour the needs, values, and goals of an organization by establishing respect, trust, and transparency among the business shareholders.

The literature review chapter is prepared to provide reliable insights on ethical leadership practices and their influence on developing organizational culture. This chapter includes the concept of ethical leadership, the impact of ethical leadership on employee performance, and challenges faced by the organizations.

Theories and models related to ethical leadership are analysed to identify the various elements of ethical leadership. Ways that can be followed by global organizations to enhance ethical leadership are discussed in this chapter. The role of ethical leadership in global organizations is discussed in the literature review section.

2.2 Concept of ethical leadership

Understanding the concept of ethical leadership is crucial to explore the benefits of ethical leadership inside an organization. According to Islam, Ahmed, and Ali (2019), ethical leadership allows organizations to make meaningful decisions by understanding the industry’s circumstances. Ethical leadership helps businesses to respond to the various industry circumstances by considering the objectives, values, and needs of the organizations.

According to Ahmed Iqbal et al. (2020), business shareholders are an integral part of an organization and need to be valued and respected by the organization. Ethical leadership enables global businesses to align their objectives with organizational values. Ethical leadership is important for global organizations, and it enables them to offer direction to their employees and maintain ethical behaviour.

Organizations are able to maintain translucency with their employees by adopting ethical leadership practices. However, they need to identify the elements which are responsible for affecting organizational growth.

There are certain factors in ethical leadership that help to represent ethical leadership such as responsibility, integrity, justice, respect, honesty, and transparency. According to Ren, Tang, and Jackson (2020), organizations need to focus on these factors and conduct leadership development programs to improve organizational leadership.

Ethical leaders need to have effective knowledge of internal values and morals to handle complex circumstances. According to Suifan, Diab, Alhyari, and Sweis (2020), ethical leaders take the entire responsibility of the organizational tasks and activities and admit to their mistakes. Ethical leaders are able to handle complex ethical issues and problems with their internal team members.

This leadership approach enables businesses to identify recovery plans if the initial plan fails to fulfil the objectives. Ethical leaders follow the ethical policies and take action if the employees are unable to resurrect the ethical policies.

2.3 Role of ethical leadership on organizational culture

Organizations face a significant number of risks daily, right from supply chain issues, data security to corporate fruits and economic issues. According to Garba, Babalola, and Guo (2018), global often ignores the importance of organizational culture and focuses on other demanding issues.

The senior leaders and board members overlook the influence of organizational culture in reducing some of the organizational issues such as maintaining consistency and a healthy work environment. According to Ahmad and Gao (2018), organizational behaviour and environment play a crucial role in developing organizational culture.

Ethical leadership practices are required to maintain a healthy organizational culture that is recognizable by the industry. Organizations need to take appropriate steps and strategies to ensure ethical and professional behaviour inside the workplace.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.1: Role of ethical leadership on organizational culture

(Source: Garba, Babalola and Guo, 2018)

Organizations often face complications to identify ethical leaders who are capable of maintaining ethical codes and organizational culture. According to Neves, Almeida, and Velez (2018), organizations such as Zappos and Starbucks focus highly on their business culture to maintain sustainable organizational growth.

Ethical leaders must repress the ethical codes and behaviour of the organization to influence their employees to respect the organization’s culture. Ethical leaders need to maintain close relationships with the company shareholders to demonstrate moral and ethical values that can improve organizational culture.

Ethical leadership plays an important role in maintaining the culture of an organization as it increases the value of the organization to an exponential level. As stated by Qing et al.(2020), the leaders are counted as role models by the members of the organizations.

Ethically maintaining the leadership declares that all the rules and the regulation of the firm are maintained in the best possible way. In addition, all the employees are provided with equal respect and given proper opportunities irrespective of deriving from different cultures. In the previous time, the only responsibility of the leader was to improvise the growth of the company on an international platform.

The present scenario is different as it allows the leaders to lead the team by prioritizing ethics as well as maintaining a higher quality of morality.

In some well-reputed organizations ethical leadership models namely 4-V models are used to assist them in maintaining ethical activities in the workplace. As mentioned by Nair (2020), the model is claimed to be one of the best ways implemented by the higher authority of the companies.

In the model, it has been depicted that depending on the exterior behavior of the individuals such as the leaders, the internal atmosphere of the organizations can be improved in a better way. The 4 components of the 4-V model are Value, voice, vision, and virtue. The responsibility and value of the leaders are to be understood initially whereas it is equally essential for the managers to have a later view about the concepts to guide the employees appropriately.

2.4 Impact of ethical leadership on employee performance

The overall growth of an organization is directly related to the productivity and efficiency of the employees. According to Kuenzi, Mayer, and Greenbaum (2020), the performance of business employees can shape the development process of a global organization. Businesses need to identify ethical leaders who have the ability to influence and encourage their employees to experience continuous organizational growth.

According to Potipiroon and Ford (2017), ethical leaders allow the organization to develop a culture of respect and ethical codes among their employees which results in enhanced employee performance. Business leaders need to maintain a strong relationship with their employees and keep regular contact to monitor the performance of the employees. Ethical leaders are able to analyse the performance of their employees and provide the necessary support.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.2: Impact of ethical leadership on employee performance

(Source: Kuenzi, Mayer and Greenbaum, 2020)

Ethical leaders give emphasis on organizational culture and morals which helps the organizations to enhance their work environment. According to Saleem et al. (2020), global organizations can motivate their employees to actively participate in the tasks and projects by maintaining a healthy work environment. Organizations are able to incorporate ethical rules and regulations with the help of ethical leadership practices.

According to Zhao and Xia (2019), ethical leaders respect the contribution of their employees and encourage them to achieve success inside the workplace. Employees feel motivated and valued inside the organizations if their contributions are recognized by the organizational leaders.

2.5 Challenges faced by the organizations to improve ethical leadership

Ethical leadership is crucial to enhance business growth and organizations give a lot of attention to developing ethical leaders. Ethical leaders have certain traits that make them different from the rest of the population and organizations often face challenges to identify leaders who possess these traits. According to Bai, Lin, and Liu (2019), businesses need to establish appropriate policies to adopt ethical leadership.

However, preparing and establishing ethical policies is a complex task and organizational practices, rules and regulations need to be clearly documented to avoid potential complications. Global organizations need to incorporate these rules and regulations in their recruitment structure to maintain transparency among the employees.

Organizations experience problems in building a healthy atmosphere inside the organization which restricts them to practice ethical leadership. According to Sağnak (2017), global organizations face challenges to maintain a healthy work environment and organizational behaviour.

Organizations need to collaborate with their shareholders in order to solve these issues and incorporate ethical leadership practices. They need to involve their internal employees in the decision-making, it can help them to identify effective solutions to their problems.

2.6 Ways to improve ethical leadership

Ethical leadership plays a vital role in improving organizational growth and maintaining organizational culture. According to Khokhar, and Zia-ur-Rehman (2017), global organizations need to identify ethical business partners such as suppliers, distributors, and consultants to incorporate ethical leadership practices.

Organizations need to establish transparent rules and values to promote ethical leadership inside the workplace. According to Constant De Waegeneer and Willem (2018), global organizations need to set regulatory behaviours to manage the behaviour and activities of their employees. They need to develop appropriate behaviours which complement the organizational culture in order to improve ethical leadership.

Organizations need to develop a close relationship with their employees to demonstrate the importance of ethical leadership inside the organization. According to Ahmad, Gao, and Hali (2017), ethical leaders need to inform their employees about the company culture and the importance of the organization to enhance leadership practices. Business leaders need to identify the potential factors that can hinder the development of ethical approaches inside the organization.

One of the best possible ways to improve ethical leadership quality is to pick out the right individuals as a leader. As per the view of Kuenziet al. (2020), the identification is to be done based on merit, leadership quality together with experience.

Irrespective of high ethical values within themselves, the personality does not need to be perfect to a leader, it is essential to have a practice of it. For example, a technique has been implemented by an organization in which employees are appointed as a leader for a short period with a group of few people.

Detailed feedback is taken daily about the working and tackling strategy of the manager from the employees. As urged by Tuet al. (2019), they are provided with the higher designation as a leader if they are well accepted by the employees and are equally valuable to the organizations, otherwise, they are conducted to get trained.

The leaders are to be properly trained to learn the techniques to motivate the employees and inspire them by appreciating their tasks. Communication skills are essential skills of a leader as they need to be simultaneously a good listener as well as a speaker. Unless the leaders are not listening to their employees attentively t is not possible to guide them appropriately.

2.7. Theories and models

There are several types of leadership models and theories which can help an organization to adapt and grow further. There are also various theories of models that are going to be discussed in this paper.

The great man theory

The great man theory suggests that the leaders are born and they are not made in nature. The great man theory refers to capturing the courage, confidence, and charm of an individual to work in a perfect environment in the workplace. As cited by Rosenshield (2020), the theory can be stated that leaders are born with their leadership mentality where they can contribute to their organization to build a successful organization within the sector.

There are two assumptions of great man theory which includes that the leaders are heroes to be born in nature where they can put everyone together in a workplace and work as a team to effectively contribute to the economy.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.3: The great man theory

(Source: Worley, 2018)

The trait theory

The trait theory is a leadership theory which suggests identifying the different personality traits and behaviour of a leader that are correlated. The personality and behaviour are correlated to be successful leaders in the society in different situations. Therefore, with the leadership mentality there are several things to be related to their personality.

As cited by Matthews (2018), flexible behaviour is one of the major trait personalities in their lifestyle to be successful leaders who can adapt such new ideas in different situations to overcome. On the other hand, a leadership should adapt the motivatebehaviour in their personality which can motivate other people in the organization to work effectively. The leaders should be courageous to motivate other employees in an organization to have a better workplace.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.4: The trait theory

(Source: Matthews 2018)

The behavioural theory

Behavioural theory focuses on learning through their skills and knowledge of their ability to capture those in their organization to grow and work productively. As cited by Chakrabarti et al. (2017), behaviour can be learned through interaction with skilled people to work sufficiently with the environment. Interaction with one another is beneficial for an organization to grow communication skills and communicate with the other staff of an organization.

There are four different types of behavioural approaches to have better qualities in a leader that are individualized, intellectual, inspirational and idealized influences. These four different aspects of behavioural approach of leadership can increase their ability to work in a better workplace to motivate the others. The theories can suggest a leadership can be approached according to their effective action to contribute their philosophy in an organization.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.5: The behavioural theory

(Source: Chakrabarti et al. 2017)

Laissez-Faire Leadership theory

Laissez-faire leadership model provides several resources and tools for a successful leader in the organization. As cited by Breevaart et al. (2019), there are several pros and cons of laissez-faire which are a level of trust and an independent mentality for creating new ideas and motivating others to build a brand effectively. Therefore, if a team is not working properly then it can cause chaos and confuse the model of leadership.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.6: Laissez-Faire Leadership theory

(Source: Breevaart et al. 2019)

Team-oriented leadership theory

Team oriented leadership sets up a positive behaviour of individuals in their organization who can adopt such a leadership model to increase strengths. As cited by Worley (2018), a team-oriented model of leadership can increase an individual’s strengths so that they can perform well in the organization to grow further as a team.

This model can encourage an individual to motivate the other staff to contribute effectively in the organization so that the organization can grow further in the upcoming year. Team-oriented leadership can be referred to as a people oriented leadership approach which can improve the ability of an employee in the organization to perform well as a team.

A leader should adopt such a model which can encourage them to work as a team to get proper results and an organization can grow properly in their business strategy.

Transformational leadership theory

Transformational leadership follows various paths to implement such an approach to improve the leaders and identify the paths to get a better way to get better results. As cited by Asbari (2020), there are also several pros and cons to improve the characteristics of a leader to make a proper decision and perform well in organization to get a better result within the sector.

The advantages of transformational leadership approaches are to gain trust from the employees and communicate with the employees so that they can also share their ideas effectively.

The disadvantages of a transformational leadership approach are that existing processes are valued in nature where the things are not done properly in such a way that the organization would not grow rapidly through their strategy.

As per the view of Alatawi (2017), a leadership should adapt such approaches so that they can encourage others to improve their uncomforted zone and they can motivate the others to work properly in an organization. A leader should be concerned about team oriented work as teamwork is essential for an organization to get better results.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 2.7: Transformational leadership theory

(Source: Alatawi, 2017)

2.8. Role of ethical leadership in global organizations

The ethical leadership approach can make a proper decision for an organization to build their brand in the industry. As per the view of Kim et al. (2018), the leadership mentality of an individual can increase the knowledge about their skills to make appropriate decisions for achieving goals within the sector.

Therefore, with the proper decision an organization can achieve their goals effectively and work as a team where employees can communicate with each other sufficiently and contribute their ideas in the business. Leadership can increase the motivation of an employee so that they can increase their skills with the brand they provide. Therefore, effective leaders can achieve an organization’s goals and responsibility to meet their objectives.

 Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

Research methodology defines specific procedures to select, identify, conduct processes and analyse information about the research topic. The research method of this dissertation includes a research approach, data collection, and analysis technique with ethical issues, consideration to conduct the entire research or investigation successfully.

3.2 Research Approach

The research approach is considered as the helping hand that includes the proceed your step of wide as options to observe data analysis interpretation and collection for planning the entire investigation. In addition, the research approach has delivered two major classifications as Inductive and deductive that help to experiment or observe the entire procedure of research dissertation.

This research dissertation has adopted a deductive research approach to explain and identify the theoretical and cultural research for investigation practices based on the topic. As per the view of Ligurgo et al. (2017), the inductive research approach has limitations to explain and clarify the investigated data while conducting the data collection and analysis process. A deductive research approach is held to collect both valid and invalid information based on the research topic.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 3.1: Research Approach

(Source: Machila et al. 2018)

The inductive research approach fails to cover the entire subject or investigation matter as it requires huge time to formulate and generalize the collected data of the research. In addition, the inductive research approach required expert opportunities and skills to deliver proper solutions and answer the research questions.

On the contrary, deductive research helps to work on the actual point or area of the research topic so the dissertation takes less time to generalize and formulate entire information. As per the view of Machila et al. (2018), deductive research approaches indicate adequate hypotheses to determine and measure the collected data in both quantitative and qualitative.

Moreover, the deductive research approach helps to demonstrate a better understanding of the relationship between research variables and concepts.

3.3 Research method

Secondary data is used for the purpose of this research and the focus is on the thematic analysis of data. Thematic analysis is used as it helps in the analysis of the patterns used for gathering data in this research study (Browne et al. 2019). Interpretivism philosophy is used as it helps in interpreting the concepts for making improvements in the study.

It is used in this research because the generation of an observable outcome is the major idea of this study (Moser and Korstjens, 2019). Data that is used belongs to the specific topic and provides effective knowledge about the concepts.

The research method has approached research philosophy that helps to create the research much more exploratory and creative through improving the nature of research knowledge. Research philosophy consists of three key elements such as positivism, realism, and interpretivism Research philosophy which are helpful to reveal the assumption of research purpose.

According to Alase (2017), Positivism research philosophy yields to research straightening the process of applying research hypotheses to analyse the behaviour, attitude of research participants. Besides that realism philosophy focuses on additional subject matters of objectives and reflects the independent nature of the research topic but interpretivism philosophy is chosen in this research.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 3.2: Research Method

(Source: Alase, 2017)

Research methods have adopted a secondary qualitative data collection method and thematic analysis to collect the investigation information with their ability and proper pattern within the present trends. As per the view of Locatelli et al. (2017), research methods face huge stress through accepting a realism research philosophy that includes real feelings and needs in research.

Realism research philosophy does not believe in sentiments and imaginations within the research process that emphasizes on the negligence of literature and scientific matters of the research topic.

3.4 Data collection.

Secondary data collection is used for the purpose of this research as it helps in accessing the data at the early stages of the study. It is a time-saving process as the data is collected efficiently directly from the resources (Wik et al. 2019). Resources include articles, journals, encyclopaedias, and websites like Google scholar and ProQuest.

It helps in the generation of various insights about the research study and provides efficient data for proceeding with the research. Secondary data collection is an easy process as it involves a direct collection of information (Moser and Korstjens, 2019). Information that is gathered in secondary data collection is specific and helps in identifying the concepts effectively.

MAR042-6 Dissertation Sample - Business Dissertation

Figure 3.3: Data Collection

(Source: Wik et al. 2019)

Websites are an effective medium for collecting data and this research used the websites in order to save time and provide efficient research. Research that is conducted before helps in gathering information and makes the research efficient (Wik et al. 2019).

Information that is provided in this research focuses directly on the research questions and helps in providing specific solutions. Easy and efficient access of data helps in making the research study informative for future researchers (Moser and Korstjens, 2019). Secondary data collection is used as it saves time and helps in focusing on the essential data for the purpose of this research study.

Secondary data collection is used in this research as it is cost-efficient and provides information in an easy manner. Collection of the data is efficiently done from the establishing sources that are already done (Moser and Korstjens, 2019). Questioning of the secondary data is not done as the information is gathered from the previous research.

3.5 Data analysis technique

Thematic data analysis is done in this research as it involves the use of secondary data for the purpose of this research. It is used in this research as it involves an efficient understanding of critical knowledge (Ho et al. 2019). Proper recognition of the importance of concepts helps the research in providing specific data for this research study.

Thematic analysis helps in evaluating and analysing the benefits of leadership in the effective growth of organizations. It brings out the benefits of ethical leadership and the information is specific (Wik et al. 2019). Evaluation of impacts and issues helps in the analysis of the culture in ethical leadership. The specific knowledge about the study helps in identifying the data for the efficient research study.

The relation between ethical leadership and organizational behaviour has been analyzed through thematic data analysis.  The impact of ethical leadership on organizational growth has been evaluated by making four different themes based on the research objectives.

Thematic analysis has been taken here for interpreting the collected data in a systematic and statistical way (Ahmad and Gao, 2018). This data analysis method helps the researcher to find out the appropriate relationship between the key variables of the research and reach an effective conclusion.

3.6. Ethical issues

The researcher has tried the best to follow the ethical consideration to avoid all the ethical issues related to the research work. As the information and data for the research work have been collected from secondary sources therefore the authenticity of the data becomes a major issue. The researcher can face ethical issues while checking the authenticity and reliability of data provided in different sources.

Along with this, there is a feasibility of manipulating the information and interpreting the collected data in a biased way (Kim and Thapa, 2018). In addition, due to the lack of relevant information from various secondary sources such as business journals, articles, books, magazines, and websites, the researcher can input irrelevant data which may not be authentic and reliable.

One of the major ethical issues that can be occurred in this researcher’s work is that the researcher can access websites without judging the authenticity due to time boundness and meeting the deadline.

Besides this, human error in collecting data and unconscious biases can be significant ethical issues that the researcher needs to be ignored for enhancing the quality of research outcomes. As per the information obtained from Sosik et al. (2019), ethical leadership practice is a confidential matter of an organization, therefore maximum organizations don’t reveal adequate information about the strategy and practice of ethical leadership.

Therefore, the researcher can face ethical issues in finding sufficient relevant and valid information on the specific research topic from secondary sources of data. It can affect the quality of research outcomes to a limited extent.

3.7. Ethical considerations

In order to eliminate the mentioned ethical issues, the researcher needs to follow some specific ethical considerations. In this research work, the researcher has followed some ethical considerations that help in enhancing the quality of research. These considerations are going to be evaluated in the below section:

The researcher has executed the “secondary qualitative method” for collecting relevant data on ethical leadership practice and its impact on organizations.

As per the information obtained from Chikeleze and Baehrend (2017), secondary data collection methods help the researcher to find adequate data on the research topic and enhance the quality of research. The researcher has taken data from authentic websites, journals, and articles. The data has been collected after reviewing its authenticity and reliability.

In addition, the researcher has used paid websites to collect accurate data by taking subscriptions. Along with this, the researcher has provided priority to the peer-reviewed journals for collecting information in order to maintain accuracy and reliability.  During the time of data collection, the researcher has given full concentration in the work in order to eliminate the chances of human errors.

The researcher has not manipulated and improvised the collected data randomly. The data interpretation has been made in a bias-free manner for maintaining the quality of the research work. Most importantly, the researcher has not added a lot of arbitrary data in the research rather the areas where authentic data could not be found have been mentioned in the limitation section. It helps to enhance the reliability and validity of the research work.

This research has been conducted by following the ethical guidelines of the Data Protection Act, 1998. Besides this, all the journals, articles, and websites used in the research have been mentioned properly in the reference list. The researcher has shed attention to the authentic invitations for maintaining the authenticity of the study. In order to protect the collected data, the researcher has used “Database security software”, “Data mask software”. Along with this, strong passwords have been used in the system to prevent unauthorized intervention.

3.8. Summary

It has been observed that research methodology has produced essential findings that help the researcher to find out the impact of ethical leadership in organizational performance. This segment of the research has helped the researcher to identify the effective research strategy for this study. The effective research approach of the research has been chosen in this section to enhance the quality of research outcomes.

After analysing all the considerations, the deductive approach has been selected for the research. Besides this, interpretivism philosophy has been taken for conducting data collection and data analysis comprehensively. The researcher has selected the secondary and qualitative data collection methods for gathering authentic data from different secondary sources.

Various journals, articles, books, and websites have been used for gathering relevant information on ethical leadership and its impact on an organization. Moreover, the data has been analysed and interpreted through the secondary thematic data analysis method. The ethical issues related to the research work have been mentioned in the report to outline the proper ethical considerations in order to enhance the research quality.

Chapter 4: Discussion and findings

4.1. Introduction

In this chapter, the researcher is mainly focusing on the discussion and findings which covers several themes on the topic of study matter. The findings of the data through different methods are critically analysed in this chapter. The researcher sheds light on the interpretation of the findings of the research by taking multiple theories for the data into consideration.

The information that is collected for the research work is analysed and evaluated for the conduction of findings in the study. The insight of the completed theories can assist the researcher to better analyse the themes of the topic in this chapter.

4.2. Thematic analysis

Theme 1: The role of ethical leadership in the age digitization

The leader’s role in the age of digitisation is central in driving the process of making strong and fast decisions and launching the change. Digital leadership is the amalgamation of the transformational leadership style and the utilisation of digital technology (Baig et al. 2021). In the age of digitisation, the competition is extremely high and tough due to the VUCA factors which are volatility, ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty.

The leaders of many renowned and well-established companies are going to change the strategy of leadership through digital transformation. Digital transformation is mentioned as the portfolio adaptation of the technologies at different degrees which includes IoT (Internet of things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), social media, digital platform and machine learning. Adaptation of digital change integrates the ability of leaders to change and motivates the employees to embrace the flow.

Integrity is mentioned as the quality of being honest and having a powerful moral view or purpose. Ethical leadership is not easy but it can be transparent and flexible with the help of digital transformation. As opined by Lim et al. (2017), the leaders who follow ethics demonstrate proper values to the people around them through their self-behaviour.

The leaders of an organisation who perform with integrity can make the organisation immensely powerful by attracting ethical hires and talented people. Ethical leadership becomes more transparent and flexible through the help of the digitization process.

The five principles of ethical leadership justified properly the sound of leadership which includes honesty, community, respect, service and justice. Ethical leaders in the process of digitisation have the immense power to motivate and engage others with optimism and clarity (Karatepe et al. 2019).

Digital leadership assists the organisation to make a workflow and the processes of business that permits the services and new technologies to be rolled out rapidly. An effective digital and ethical leader is extremely conscious of the goals of the business and knows how the work responsibilities aid it.

As stated by Qing et al. (2020), the successful and ethical digital leader comprehends the necessity of the processes and inbound data within the business that aids it. Those leaders place and create higher value on their creativity and communication and the eagerness to explore many new paths that the digital transformation and evolvement of new technology which can be utilised to assist the projects of the business. The benefits of ethical leadership in the age of digitisation are:

Building of digital culture: Ethical leaders have a strong vision to get the workforce on board and it helps to build the digital culture of an organisation more effectively. In an organisation, various departments of the business require different tools digitally to develop the work.

For instance: taking the example of Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google has all the qualities and abilities of an ethical leader. He made many digital transformations in his company with the development of many digital technologies and software. One of his greatest innovations, Google Drive, is considered by many of the companies for their benefit in the creation and accessing of particular documents that contain particular data.

In the age of digitization, he is balancing digital transformation and leadership to enhance the employees and maintain high ethical standards in an organisation (Feng et al. 2019).

Improving customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is extremely important for a business to increase its reputation and earning of profit. The leader with ethical values can understand the preferences and needs of the customer with a clear vision. Digital leadership can assist the organisation by developing and introducing customer support and speed (Ko et al. 2018).

This helps to make the customer immensely satisfied with the service and product of an organisation. For instance, Sundar Pichai is an extremely down to earth person and communicates with people with immense comfort and flexibility. He knows what the targeted audience or user expects from the company and with a clear focus, he develops his application to provide immense satisfaction.

Make the employees more creative: The digital evolvement helps to transform the organisation more cheerfully. The digital tool helps the employees to be more creative and productive towards their work. Ethical leaders encourage the employees to do the job in a more concentrated and straightway. As stated by Asif et al. (2019), effectiveness and efficiency are enhanced with the implementation of digital tools in an organisation.

Ethical leaders like Sundar Pichai followed the digital world from the beginning but the gradual development of the era led him to make several changes in his company. Being a good and ethical leader, he encourages the employees to adopt the change and make them understand the necessity of implementation of more developed digital tools in an organisation.

Theme 2: Major ethical issues associated with the modern business world

One of the major challenges for the owner of the business is the navigation of ethical issues in the modern business world. Some of the ethical issues in modern business are completely covered by the laws and the demands around the others are gloomy.

In these cases, it is the responsibility of the ethical leader to hold the workers of an organisation responsible for the emergence of unethical actions. Ethical issues are just a common factor in an organisation nowadays (Shafique et al. 2018). Empathy, diversity, acceptance are the terms of the business that comes under the term ethical issues according to the definition of business.

Discrimination and Harassment: One of the major ethical which affect modern business in today’s era is Discrimination. Discrimination can arise in an organisation of any size whether it is a small, medium or large firm. Discrimination is not only considered an unethical issue but is also illegal. In an organisation, discrimination refers to the action that is the reason where the employees receive unequal treatment from others (Kim and Thapa, 2018).

In a research, it is surveyed that there are many large corporations that come under legally for the lack of diverse workforce which more often leads to discrimination. Gender and race pay gaps reflect that the term discrimination is still unrestrained. The other example of discrimination includes the termination of employees when they reach a certain age.

 One of the major examples of such cases is Nike where the four women who worked at the headquarter of Nike claimed that they are facing unequal and gender pay discrimination and the rampant harassment of sexuality (Vox.com, 2021). They filed a lawsuit against the company at a federal court claiming that the sports apparel company has violated the Equal pay act and avoiding the issue of sexual harassment.

Some of the former employees supported the complaint of the women by proclaiming that the company pays much less wage to female workers compared to the male colleagues for doing the same work. The women said that they are complaining to the HR manager for several years for sexual harassment and demeaning treatment but they are continuously avoiding it (Vox.com, 2021).

Healthy and safety: Healthy and safety is one kind of ethical issue that is generally law protected. The companies may take decisions to cut the edges to minimise the value or faster-performing tasks. As opined by Islam et al. (2019), failing to put the safety of the employees into account as well as the injuries may lead to the risk psychologically which may create stress that is work-related.

Taking the case of Tesco into consideration can help to clearly state the health and safety issue. Tesco was fined £733333 for the breach of health and safety after a long break at the Hempstead store (Dacorum.gov.uk, 2021).

It was investigated by the environmental health officers that the giant supermarket stores were fined and undergoing a legal case for the breaching of health and safety of the employees. Tesco has pleaded guilty at a prior hearing to the breaches of the duties and responsibilities under section 2 and section 3 of the Health and safety at work act 1974 (Dacorum.gov.uk, 2021).

Tescodoes not manage the operation properly and the risk of health and safety of their employees are not ensured properly. In the investigation, it is reported by the officers that the management practices of Tesco are extremely due to which the problem of health and safety arises.

Workplace bias: Nepotism emerges when an organisation recruits someone because they are part of hierarchies’ family members. Favouritism happens when the manager or the leader of an organisation treats the worker better as compared to the other one for any personal cause. The ethical issues of Nepotism and favouritism in an organisation are extremely unfair as well as disheartening to the workers (Ahmed Iqbal et al. 2020).

In this case, the hard-working and most talented employees of the company fall back because of this problem. It becomes extremely hard for them to get awards or any kind of promotion for the betterment.

Consider the case of Amazon where black employees claimed that Amazon has a racial problem which leads to biases, disrespect and demotions. Chanin Kelly Rae was the global manager in the cloud computing division of Amazon who had immense experience in leading diversity (Vox.com, 2021).

She had to quit her job within a few months with huge disappointment from the leading company due to inappropriate work culture. She claimed that the corporate culture of Amazon has severe systemic issues which greatly disadvantage the employees from the underrepresented ground and black employees.

She also claimed that Amazon was not doing anything for developing unethical practices which are taking Amazon a few steps backwards than taking forward (Vox.com, 2021).

Privacy: Advances in technology letting the employees have less distinction between the personal and work life. The employees are not allowed to post anything on the digital platform or the social media sites about the work culture of an organisation. The organisation may get fired or terminated if they go against the controversial statement and value of the company. In modern business, another ethical problem that surrounds is the utilisation of devices that belong to the company (Garba et al. 2018).

Employees can check the activity of all the4 employees on their cell phones and laptops. Very often, the question that arises is whether the employee is well acknowledged were to draw a line between spying and checking the activity.

One of the major examples of the privacy issue in an organisation is taking the case of WhatsApp. WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps that is used by billions of people globally. In a survey, it is found that the popular messaging app has an issue of a security breach that may have targeted the groups of human rights (Reuters.com, 2021).

The privacy and security level of the company is extremely high which provides end-to-end encryptionto its users through which any third party cannot hear that.

A Facebook unit has informed and told the Justice Department to look into the matter of security breach so that the company can fix it as soon as possible. The company motivated its users to update the current version of the application where the company had completely fixed the issue of a security breach (Reuters.com, 2021).

The company which is a unit of Facebook asked its users to update because they have worked immensely hard on the security system.

Theme 3: Role of ethical leadership in influencing employee performance

It is often argued that ethical leadership affects the identification of an organisation which positively influences the performance of an employee. Ethical leaders can be able to foster the identification of employees through openness, trustworthiness, virtuous behaviour and proactiveness. As opined by Neves et al. (2018), the skills of leadership are not at all tangible while multiple leaders are born with the ability of particular leadership.

The ethical leader enhances the influence of the team through training and self-awareness which has a tangible impact on the employee’s performance. It is believed by the researcher that the social exchange theory and social learning theory can describe the personal feature of ethical leadership and its positive influence on employees in the context of an organisation.

Ethical leadership in a business provides an immense advantage to the bottom line of the companies to take the most pressing problems and approach society.

There are multiple examples of ethical leaders which the leaders of the companies follow like Warren Buffett, Mahatma Gandhi and Anita Roddick. Considering the example of Warren Buffett who is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has presented a successful leadership quality in the organisation. Warren Buffett motivates the employees of his company to do better in their workplace by listening and communicating.

The management style of motivation of Warren Buffett is unique which led the employees into a better shape. Warren Buffett looks at three things in an employee: integrity, energy and intelligence. The leadership style of Warren Buffett is laissez-faire that requires the workers of the company to be productive and self-motivated (Tu et al. 2019).

He has a unique strategy and approach which has made him the greatest investor and leader of the company.

Ethical leadership impacts the outcomes in a variety of ways which includes employee engagement, customer loyalty and invocation and service. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has all the ability and capability to inspire and empower the members to produce the best results and provide the best performance for the benefit of the company.

Ethics in an organisation is enormously necessary which helps in the development of organisational culture. Better work culture in an organisation helps to remove conflicts and enhances better output. The employees of the company feel motivated and inspired through the ethical leadership style of the leader.

As cited by Kuenzi et al. (2020), trust and loyalty among the employees of every department of an organisation become transparent and enhanced through the maintenance of ethics. The researcher claims that ethical conduct is immensely necessary and important in every sphere of life. It helps in the development of self-personality and motivation to do something better in life with loyalty and integrity.

Theme 4: Development of CSR and Corporate Governance with the help of ethical leadership

Corporate governance and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is mainly centred on the business ethical practices and organisational responsiveness to the environment and stakeholders in which the company operates. CSR and corporate governance have a better outcome into a better organisational image which directly impacts the organizational performance.

Ethics in business is referred to as the corporate governance’s heart and it is extremely vital for the company. Ethical leadership is the representation of normatively proper conduct through the relationship interpersonally and personal actions (Potipiroon and Ford, 2017).

Fostering such conduct by the followers is basically through the communication of two ways- decision-making and reinforcement. Ethical leadership is positively concerned with corporate social responsibility. The strategic choice of leaders is based on their values, experiences and personalities which impacts the performance of the company. The ethical attribute of the leader greatly impacts the decisions and strategic choices.

 The development of corporate governance and CSR is extremely important in which leadership in CSR needs legitimacy and engagement. The corporations play an increasingly important part in the society as the performer who governs and influences the citizen’s wellbeing.

As stated by Babalola et al. (2019), the concept of ethical leadership, CSR and corporate governance are too much contested. Ethical leaders can understand the necessity of CSR and corporate governance in an organisation. Ethical leaders have a focused vision and can develop corporate social responsibility in an organisation.

Demonstration of CSR in the business helps the companies to take a broader interest in the issues socially despite focusing only on the profit margin. The development of this demonstration in an organisation is possible only with the help of ethical leadership. CSR in an organisation can help the company to get more talented people to work with.

The reputation of the company gets enhanced with the implementation of CSR within an organisation. An ethical code of conduct helps leaders to follow ethics through the guidance of principles (Mostafa and Abed El-Motalib, 2020).

The ethical code is designed in such a way that assists the professionals to conduct the business with integrity and honesty. The development of CSR and corporate governance is extremely necessary which benefits the organisation in multiple ways:

Cost savings: There are many simple changes in the sustainability favour such as utilising less packaging which can help to minimise the production cost. As opined by Karakuş (2018), CSR practices in an organisation can help to save operation and production costs.

Increases recognition and brand awareness: In the present times, people are extremely aware of CSR practices and environmental sustainability. As stated by Işik (2020), the organisation which follows CSR practices establishes a stronger impact in the market. Consideration of social and environmental factors is extremely beneficial for the company which helps to sustain for a long time.

More benefits for employees: A range of advantages is there for the employees when the company is embracing CSR practices. The workplace can be positive and more productive and fosters multiple things like professional growth and volunteering (Sosik et al. 2019).

4.3. Summary

Based on the findings and discussion, it can be stated that the researcher takes multiple concepts and ideas from the various articles on ‘The impact of ethical leadership in organisation‘. In the chapter of the findings and discussion, the four themes were developed based on the analysis of the methods.

The importance of ethical issues in the age of digitization is critically explained where the evolution of technology is more focused which helps in faster decision-making of the ethical leaders. In the modern world, ethical issues are identified and the case studies of large global companies are taken into consideration for discussion. The positive impact of ethical leadership on the performance of the employee is explained and CSR and corporate governance are developed through this.

Chapter 5: Conclusion

5.1. Conclusion

It has been concluded that the research has significantly described the concept of ethical leadership. The introduction section of the study has evaluated the background, aims, and objectives of the research. The significance of the study has also been discussed here.

The study has thrown light on the role and impact of ethical leadership on organizational culture and employee performance as well. The challenges regarding ethical leadership have been evaluated with the mitigation strategy. The importance of ethical leadership in an organization has been illustrated with the help of relevant theories and models.

“transformational leadership theory”, “trait theory”, “great man theory” have been analysed in the study to determine the impact of ethical leadership in organizational performance.

In addition, the role of ethical leadership in global organizations has been assessed in the report.  In order to conduct the research work effectively, an effective research approach, research method, data collection, and analysis method have been selected in the methodology segment.

Ethical considerations have been described in the study which is followed by the researcher to enhance the quality of the research. Besides this, discussion and findings on the research topic have been evaluated through thematic analysis. At the end of the study, recommendations for enhancing ethical leadership have been mentioned with the research limitations.

5.2. Linking with objectives

Objective 1: “To identify the ways in which ethical leadership can be improved in order to facilitate growth in an organization”

In the “discussion and findings” section this objective of the research has been discussed with thematic analysis. In this section, a detailed discussion has been made on the way in which ethical leadership can be improved in order to enhance the growth of an organization.

In order to find out the strategy of improving ethical consideration, the issues related to ethical consideration have been identified at first. After identifying the issues the mitigation strategies have been evaluated to improve the leadership with the aim of achieving sustainable organizational growth.

Objective 2: “To evaluate the impact of ethical leadership on organizational culture and the performance of the employees”

It can be concluded that this objective of the research has been met in this research.  The role and impact of ethical leadership in organizational growth have been evaluated in the “Literature review” section.

The concept of ethical leadership has been illustrated. In addition, the role of ethical leadership in organizational culture, and its impact on employee engagement have been elaborate. Moreover, the way of improving ethical leadership in order to enhance organizational growth has been suggested in this segment of the study.

5.3. Recommendation

After analysing all the key aspects of ethical leadership some recommendations are going to provide for enhancing the ethical leadership of an organization in order to improve organizational performance.

Recommendation 1: Create a bias-free working friendly environment

The leader of an organization needs to promote a bias-free working friendly environment to improve ethical leadership (Bláha et al. 2021). All the employees need to be provided equal importance and opportunity.

Besides this, justified payment for a specific work comes under the ethical consideration of the leaders. Leaders need to make sure that the employees can work without any hindrance and harassment.

Recommendation 2: Eliminate all kinds of discrimination and nepotism

In order to promote ethical leadership, a leader needs to eliminate all kinds of discrimination and nepotism from the workplace (Yeşiltaş and Tuna, 2018). All the employees need to provide equal scope and opportunity regardless of gender identity, lingual background, nationality, religious view, and physical features.

The employees need to be promoted by analysing the performance level only, no nepotism and favouritism should be entertained at the workplace.

Recommendation 3: Motivate the employee with effective communication

Leaders can communicate with the employees effectively to solve the performance issues and suggest the way to improve performance level. Besides this, the leaders can motivate the employees by providing job satisfaction through a relevant pay scale, less work pressure, and equal career opportunities.

As per the suggestion of Halbusi and Tehseen (2018), providing liberty and flexibility to the employees for working in a stress-free and creative mind comes under the practice of ethical leadership. It will help in improving employee engagement and employee performance significantly.

Recommendation 4: satisfy the customers by engaging the employees in customer service

In order to achieve sustainable organizational growth, it is important to satisfy the customers with quality products and services (Feng et al. 2019). Therefore, customer management becomes a key factor in the success of a business.

The leaders need to motivate the employees to work dedicatedly to satisfy the customers. Leaders need to organize seminars and training to improve the customer handling and customer management ability of the employees.

Recommendation 5: provide skill development training to make the employees creative and productive

The leader of an organization can provide skills development training to the employees to improve their skills. As per the view of Engelbrecht et al. (2017), it will help to improve the innovative ideas, creativity, and performance level of the employees which can boost productivity and organizational growth remarkably.

5.4. Limitation

The research has followed the secondary and qualitative data collection methods. Therefore, all the information for this research work has been collected from different secondary sources. The researcher has used different websites, journals, and articles from online sources. However, it was not possible to analyse the authenticity of those data due to insufficient information on the specific research topic (Chikeleze and Baehrend, 2017).

As ethical leadership is a confidential matter of an organization, therefore, maximum companies don’t provide adequate information on it on the official websites. Therefore, arbitrary information has been assumed in some places of this research work.

Secondary thematic analysis has been followed in this study which is statistical and systematic. However, a little feasibility of human error during data interpretation and unintentional biases can be observed.

Time restriction was a significant limitation in the research work. Due to the pressure of strict deadlines primary research could not be conducted which may give a more authentic and valid outcome. Face-to-Face interviews with some business leaders can give more knowledge and information about ethical leadership however, it will be very time-consuming.

5.5. Future scope

The researcher has given priority to authentic websites and reviewed journals for collecting secondary data on ethical leadership. Therefore, a lot of relevant knowledge can be obtained from this research on ethical leadership. The leaders of small business organizations can access the overall idea of ethical leadership and its impact on organizational growth.

This research work is going to guide the future researcher in further study on a similar topic by providing adequate basic knowledge and information. Besides this, the limitation section will help the future researcher to identify the areas where more importance needs to be focused.

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