Unit One Part A

Assignment Requirements: Coursework


A two part assignment: 2-3 pages for the bullet points and 3-4 pages for the case study
Required Text: Ciulla, Joanne B. The Ethics of Leadership. (2003). Thompson-Wadsworth Publishers. ISBN-10: 0-15-506317-0, ISBN-13: 978-0155063174. Additional sources optional.

Part A Overview

In Part A of Unit One, you will study the special relationship between power and leadership. By its very nature, leadership implies that a person, or group, wields more power over others than normal. Throughout history, this power has often been absolute; however, in modern business, political, and other settings (such as religion), leaders are more able to coerce their followers into doing certain things or living in a particular manner. This kind of power structure means that ethical behavior is imperative for any social structure involving a leader, and that the leader embodies these principles more rigidly. You will examine some of the ethical arguments for power relationships.

Part A Objectives

Upon completing Part A of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how power exists within any leadership structure and how this places special moral obligations upon leaders;
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with Plato’s “Gyges ring” example from the Republic;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the “Bathsheba syndrome” and see how it appears in leadership problems in contemporary settings; and
  • Demonstrate an ability to work through various case studies that teach you to apply these concepts to your own life.

Part A Reading Assignments

  • “Chapter One: The Moral Challenges of Power and Self-Interest” in the Ciulla text

Ciulla, Joanne B. The Ethics of Leadership. (2003). Thompson-Wadsworth Publishers. ISBN-10: 0-15-506317-0, ISBN-13: 978-0155063174.

Part A Guiding Questions

  • What is the nature of power and influence in leadership that makes ethical questions more imperative?
  • What does Plato’s story about the “ring of Gyges” tell us about self-interest and power?
  • What are some of the theories of human nature and how do these theories change the nature of ethics, especially in relation to leadership and the moral obligation to followers?
  • Is all human nature based upon self-interest? If so, then why should leaders be ethical? If not, then what is human nature and how do you know?

Required Work

Unit 1 – Part A

For each of the following thinkers, write four sentence-long bullet points that describe the thinkers’ main ideas.

  • Yukl
  • Plato
  • Hobbes
  • Machiavelli
  • Rand

Then, examine the following case study:

  • “The Parable of the Sadhu”

Write a three to five page paper (900-1500 words) in which you examine the case from the perspective of each of the thinkers from this chapter.

  • Start the paper with a brief summary of the case (no more than 300 words).
  • The main portion of the paper will include the application of the various thinkers’ ideas to the facts of the case study.
  • Conclude the paper by describing which thinker (or two) best addresses the issues presented by the case study.



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