Leadership Tool #2: Moral Reasoning

Moral reasoning is our capacity to differentiate what is right and wrong. It enables leaders to make decisions for the greater good of the organization (Northouse, 2016, p. 205). This tool was selected because it addresses the notion of ethics in our decision making. By practicing moral reasoning, it helps you recognize moral issues and express moral solutions (Richardson, 2013). Moral reasoning is an umbrella for theories such as utilitarianism and altruism. Utilitarianism focuses on the greater good for the greatest number of people, whereas altruism shows the greatest concern for the interest of others.

The two main issues with moral reasoning is that of self-interest and differences in our moral framework (Richardson, 2013). With moral disagreements, the solution falls on compromise and it must reflect what each person considers to be right (Richardson, 2013).

Below you can see Kohlberg’s Theory which shows the 3 levels and 6 stages of moral reasoning (see figure 1). Kohlberg’s theory describes how we develop our moral reasoning from infancy to adulthood (Psychology Notes HQ, 2016).

moral 1.png

Figure 1. Psychology Notes HQ. (2016, Jan 20). Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologynoteshq.com/kohlbergstheory/

References

Khan Academy Medicine. (2014, Feb 25). Kohlberg moral development | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onkd8tChC2A

Northouse, P. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.

Psychology Notes HQ. (2016, Jan 20). Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologynoteshq.com/kohlbergstheory/

Richardson, H. (2013, Feb 11). Moral Reasoning (Winter 2014 Edition). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasoning-moral/#1.4

Leadership Tool #1: Situational Approach

Situational approach to leadership is the combination of both supportive and directive leadership techniques (Northouse, 2016, p. 93). The approach recommended is that of Hersey & Blanchard which was developed in 1969 but has since been expanded on (Northouse, 2016, p. 93). This tool was selected because it takes into consideration the follower characteristics and can be used in various business situations. Directive behavior is through goal setting, rules and regulations, timelines, and providing task direction. Supportive behavior is more communicative and problem solving based. For jobs with repetitive tasks, the need for direction decreases as you become more familiar with your role. For jobs with varying and unclear tasks, the need for direction will always need to be provided.

This tool provides leaders with the ability to adjust their methods based off employee’s needs. It tells you what you should and should not do in certain situations (Northouse, 2016, p. 99). To implement this strategy, you must consider: How complex the goal is? Do the followers possess the correct skills for the task? And are the followers motivated to achieve the goal (Northouse, 2016, p. 97)? Once these questions are answered it will guide you on how to lead your employees.

Below you can see the Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership method and how the changes in directive vs supportive needs will influence how you should lead your team (see figure 1).

situational 2Figure 1. The Center for Leadership Studies (2018). Situational Leadership. Retrieved from situational.com/situational-leadership/about-situational-leadership

References

Northouse, P. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.

The Center for Leadership Studies (2018). Situational Leadership. Retrieved from situational.com/situational-leadership/about-situational-leadership/

The Center for Leadership Studies. (2015, April 9). Situational Leadership® Overview With Dr. Paul Hersey [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qD_6yIKXbo