The three empirical leadership and ethical articles that form the basis of this leadership essay include firstly, “On Impassioned Leadership: A Comparison Between Leaders from Divergent Walks of Life” by Joan Marques, “Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development” by Jim McCleskey, and “ Ethics, values and behaviors: comparison of three case studies examining the paucity of leadership in government” by Andrew Kakabadse et al. The purposes of each study are quite different and provide a rather dynamic, diverse and well informed view on the different aspects and requirements of ethical styles of leadership. The article by Marques aims at highlighting the overall significance of the individual and their respective trait and personalities rather than their style of leadership or the position that they are adopting in society. For example, it refers to the role of political leaders in society and how people tend to focus too much on the role rather than the individual and the leader themselves (Marques, 2007). The second article by McCleskey aims at exemplifying the significance of different styles of leadership and how individuals will tend to adopt a particular style rather than their own and a style that is widely accepted in society. Popularity and social movements are argued as being highly influential on the role and significance of leadership in society (McCleskey, 2014). The third article by Kakabadse et al aims at looking further at the role of ethics in defining the influence of leadership and argues that ethics is the most powerful aspects of leadership in the 21st century (Kakabadse et al, 2003).
Comparison of Article Research Questions
The research questions posed in each study are different and focused on determining what aspect of leadership is most prominent in individuals within positions of power in the 21st century. The first article poses the question of whether current individuals become successful as a result of their hard work or through the networks that they establish with other people. It investigates amongst a chosen population why certain individuals, who work harder than others, may not receive promotions or gaining prestigious leadership titles or positions. The question relates to individuals in positions of power across the United States (Marques, 2007). The article by McCleskey poses the question of situational styles of leadership are more heavily favored and effective than transactional and transformational styles of leadership. It attempts to solve this issue by providing its audience with a variety of different environments and situations within the corporate and political world within the United States and globally (McCleskey, 2014). The third article by Kakabadse et al focuses on the question of whether ethics or other values are key to successful and highly effective leadership. It attempts to achieve this by focusing on the core values of different leadership positions, models and most significantly, individuals across the American corporate and political world (Kakabadse, 2003).
Analysis of Sample Populations
Surprisingly, all three articles have relatively similar sample populations based within American business and governmental environments. The first article by Marques studies a large sample of different politicians and corporate executives with countless instances and examples of successful and highly effective individuals in contrast to those that haven’t been able to inspire others and most significantly, success (Marques, 2007). The second article by McCleskey studies a more refined population within the corporate world only and examines such businesses as large banks and insurance companies. It is unique in the fact that situational, transactional and transformational leadership examples are drawn from its sizeable sample population across the corporate industry of the United States (McCleskey, 2014). The third article by Kakabadse et al focuses specifically on a small sample government population across a number of different governmental sectors and departments within the United States (Kakabadse et al, 2003).
Results of the Studies
All three empirical studies develop a number of different results, which continue to question the validity and effectiveness of different styles of leadership in the 21st century and whether leadership can not simply be defined and related to a number of core values and traits. The first article by Marques determines that individuals tend to abuse their positions of power and that their respective leadership requirements and traits need to be further refined and structured. It was subsequently proven amongst the sample population that individuals are incapable of leading alone and using their own traits to influence others (Marques, 2007). The second article in support of this, is unable to label one leadership style as being more effective than the other and ultimately highlights the need to conglomerate all styles of leadership into one main style (McCleskey, 2014). The third article determines that ethics and leadership are intrinsically linked and in contrast to the others, is definitive in its answer and its results indicate that ethics will continue to have a major influence on the role of leadership and its ability to inspire loyalty and compassion amongst followers and other leaders (Kakabadse et al, 2003).
Each article is limited in its ability to comprehensively analyze a number of different leadership scenarios and was only able to select a particular sample population. This further questions the purpose and intent of leadership articles and whether they are effective in proving a particular point about the traits and effectiveness of leaders and their respective positions worldwide. Topics suggested for future study amongst these articles all focus on the potential issue of leadership contingency and compliance and the ability of leaders to conform to a set of well accepted ideals in society.
- Kakabadse et al. (2003). Ethics, values and behaviors: comparison of three case studies
examining the paucity of leadership in government. Public Administration,
81(3), 477-508, Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9299.00357/abstract Accessed on 16th September 2015.
- Marques, J. (2007). On Impassioned Leadership: A Comparison Between Leaders from
Divergent Walks of Life. International Journal of Leadership Studies,
3(1), 98-125, Retrieved from https://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/ijls/new/vol3iss1/marques/Marques_IJLS_V3Is1.pdf Accessed on 16th September 2015.
- McCleskey, J. (2014). Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and
Leadership Development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly 5(4), Retrieved
from http://jbsq.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/June_2014_9.pdf Accessed on
16th September 2015.