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?
Unit 1 – Part A
For each of the following thinkers, write four sentence-long bullet points that describe the thinkers’ main ideas.
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.