What We Cover
Assistant Professor of Management
Leadership involves making tough choices. Should an administrative assistant be fired for stealing office supplies? Is it okay to look at employees? e-mail correspondence without their permission? Should employees with children be allowed to avoid working late shifts during a tough project? Is it ethical to mislead, or even lie to, employees about important strategic business plans? In the core course on Leadership, students discuss their own views on such issues as well as the underlying principles (e.g., when should leaders make exceptions to publicly shared rules, and what are the consequences?). Just as importantly, students discuss expectations about how coworkers and employees would view these choices.
Why It Matters
Expectations about how others view tough choices are important, but not because leadership is a popularity contest or because ethical decisions should be majority-rule. Rather, leaders must be able to gauge how others will react to their decisions so that they can effectively persuade followers and implement decisions.
What Students Learn
Students discuss their own views about a series of tough choices and hear arguments that support different positions. We also review the dynamics of leaders' assumptions about others' views and how these assumptions often go astray, including the consequences of misjudging followers. We conclude with ideas for improving such judgments.