Morals and ethics in leadership and management

Hester, Richard and Rogers, Anita (2013). Morals and ethics in leadership and management. In: MacKian, Sara and Simons, Joan eds. Leading managing caring: Understanding leadership and management in health and social care. Routledge, pp. 401–425.



This chapter examines a few definitions of words such as ‘moral’, ‘ethical’, ‘values’ and, importantly, ʼneed’, which may impact on the way in which one as a manager carry out one’s responsibilities. The journey starts with a review of two of the main ways of moral reasoning suggested by moral philosophers in the European tradition - deontology and utilitarianism. Theories of deontology are of special relevance to health and social care workers. The concept of deontology suggests that our moral conduct should be guided by universally recognisable rules and regulations which it is our duty to obey. Cora Jamison recently moved from her home to a nursing home. She has a diagnosis of dementia and is becoming increasingly frail. She wanders continuously around the home and repeatedly goes to the front door and says she wants to go home. Utiktarianism is a form of ethical reasoning which primarily concerns the end result of our actions.

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