Sari Wahyuni, Alia N.Anoviar, Anom J.Santoso, Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia
Leadership, when effective, inspires, motivates and directs people and organizations (Shaw,2008). But when ineffective, it causes the downfall of that which it claims to serve. Recent examples of unethical leadership has led to the collapse of organizations and the suffering of millions, thus highlighting the timely relevance of this study. This paper scrutinizes the prevailing standards of ethics in today’s businesses. It examines various leadership approaches as they apply to ethical standards in an attempt to find an explanation for the behaviors of today’s leaders. It attempts to answer the question of whether leaders, by virtue of their status, power and weight of responsibilities, are justified in breaking moral rules. Furthermore, the study attempts to explain what it is that makes leaders behave as though rule-breaking is a privilege they inherently possess. Several examples will be explored in the corporate, government and not-forprofit sectors. The study will attempt to prove the hypothesis that no theory or situational argument can justify immoral acts by leaders.