Analysis of Ethical Leadership

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 2309


Ethical leadership is vital in promoting employee welfare at work and within the society. Ethical values act as a compass that gives direction on how people should behave and conform in society. It is through the acceptable code of conduct that individuals treat others with dignity, even at workplaces. Managers that have embraced ethical leadership within their organizations are likely to perform better during their operations (Cruz, 2018). As such, it is critical to examine the dimensions of ethical leadership with a view of applying them in daily activities. Common types of ethical leadership dimensions include purpose, moral person, moral manager and meaningful relationships. Principles of ethical leadership are based on attributes such as justice, respect, honesty and focused teambuilding (Winter, 2017). Equally, ethical leaders are humane and value-driven, unlike those who are unethical. The paper explores the ethical leadership practices exhibited by the CEO of Little Yellow Bird as a retailer of cloth-wear (Arnold, 2001). Ms Samantha Jones is a businesswoman well known globally for her strong stand in supporting ethical leadership. In essence, the study focuses on ethical leadership practices that Ms Samantha Jones exhibits as CEO of Little Yellow Bird.

Ethical Leadership Practices

Little Yellow Bird is a brand that has been introduced recently in the New Zealand fashion industry. It was launched by the founder and CEO Ms Samantha Jones with a view of promoting ethical practices in the industry. The New Zealand fashion industry has faced criticism for using unethical approaches to acquire materials and other items. For instance, the use of child labor within the cotton plantations has raised concerns. As such, Samantha Jones wanted to introduce a brand that cares about the welfare of the community. Ethical practices that are notable in the leadership of the CEO include integrity, transparency, community, respect, justice and inclusivity (Arnold, 2001). Equally, ethical leaders have no tolerance for ethical violations within the any context. In a bid to gain a deeper understanding of the practices, the research will draw on illustrations from dimensions of ethical leadership and approaches applicable by the CEO of Little Yellow Bird.

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Samantha Jones exhibits no tolerance for those who are victims of circumstances in ethical violations. For instance, the CEO’s mission upon the formulation of the company is producing clothes that have been manufactured ethically. Many companies within the New Zealand fashion industry use raw materials that they have no idea how it was acquired. Cotton plantations have been on the limelight in the recent past for using child labor to advance their operations (Nunn & Avella, 2017). Child labor in farms is a violation of rights, which is unethical. The primary purpose of establishing Little Yellow Bird was to ensure that products sold are acquired through an ethical process. The fact the CEO opted to find a solution is indicative of her strong position in protecting children rights (Bass, Frick & Young, 2018). Ethical leadership within an organization requires that one is principled enough to condemn unethical practices within the industry. Samantha Jones applies the rights approach to vend off designers in the fashion industry, who are exploiting children for their selfish interests (Winter, 2017). The rights approach is based on the fact that children have rights that should be respected within society. It is unethical to break set rules and regulations for whatever reason, which prompted Samantha Jones to condemn such uncalled for behavior. The CEO exhibits a high level of ethical practice as far as child labor is concerned (Cruz, 2018). Little Yellow Bird is at the forefront of championing the use of the right strategies to ensure production. The use of child labor is a violation of ethical principles that are universally acceptable, which is against the stand that Samantha Jones took upon establishing LYB.

Samantha Jones is a leader who shows honesty and respect for other players in the industry as well as all stakeholders. The CEO criticizes companies that are not willing to publish a list of suppliers for their cotton. Some of the suppliers involved in the market have no respect for right. According to the virtue approach theory, any ethical leader should be at the forefront of fighting unscrupulous business suppliers within the industry (Nunn & Avella, 2017). Firms that do not disclose information on how they obtain materials for use are acting against the common interest for all. With the knowledge of suppliers, an individual can decide on what brand to purchase in a bid to promote sustainability. The industry is flooded with individuals who take advantage of the existing poverty levels in developing countries to produce cotton. Such practices are unethical, and there is a need to compel designer to publish a list of their suppliers as required by law (Mozumder, 2018). Samantha Jones respects her staff and prefers honesty as a way of promoting proper ethical leadership practices. From the dimensions of ethical leadership, she is a strong moral person as she values honesty (Bass, Frick & Young, 2018). Honesty incorporates accounting from all resources that have been used. Equally, Samantha Jones displays a high level of transparency in the industry and other players in the market should emulate her ethical leadership practices.

Justice within a business setting and during operations is an ethical practice in leadership. Managers should embrace high levels of equality in the process of manufacturing clothing for the world market. For instance, Little Yellow Bird is at the forefront of championing morality within the fashion industry in New Zealand (Lee, Muhamat & Kawagit, 2019). Injustice for a worker or anyone within the supply chain of the firm is unethical, indicating why Samantha Jones opted to produce clothes ethically. Per the fairness approach, the CEO had intentions of undertaking a course of action that treats everyone within the company in a just manner. Injustice is a violation of ethical leadership practices. Racial prejudice against anyone within the business context is uncalled for and unethical (Mozumder, 2018). Samantha Jones embraces justice as a critical virtue in the running of LYB operations. For instance, one should not racially abuse employees as it kills morale and affects performance. Leadership that considers the race, gender or ethnic background of an individual is unethical professionally, and CEO of LYB discourages the same. The company has adopted a leadership approach that embraces inclusivity and tolerance (Mozumder, 2018). Biasness within a business context hampers down any attempts to achieve desirable ethical leadership practices within the industry. Justice is a crucial prerequisite for building meaningful relations with the subjects within a work setting.

The case of LYB indicates that Samantha Jones is a morally upright person by championing a campaign in support of sustainability strategies. Environmental sustainability is a matter that has drawn attention from many stakeholders and the community in general. In the event of manufacturing products for the fashion industry in New Zealand, the environment has been negatively affected. This necessitates for the formulation of policies and strategies that can control the level of ethical turmoil in the supply chains (Mozumder, 2018). The company CEO has plans to expand its operations and encourage the recycling of clothes for environmental sustainability. Some of the materials used in the fashion industry pollute the environment, a factor that compromises the future generations; ability to meet their needs. Polluting the environment is unethical and hampers any sustainability efforts. According to the utilitarian approach, an action is morally upright when it bears maximum positive consequences and less harm. Samantha Jones is a leader who applies the principles of utilitarian to champion environmental sustainability. In her leadership qualities, she exhibits a high level of morality in the running of company affairs. Most leaders in the fashion industry should emulate her spirit in a bid to promote environmental sustainability (Lasthuizen, Heres & Webb, 2019). Sustainability encompasses aspects that affect the economy, social lives and the environment in general. The CEO has done what it takes to promote proper leadership practices that are based on acceptable ethical standards.

Samantha Jones is a leader committed to promoting corporate social responsibility by direct participation. Her ambition towards the establishment of a cloth recycling plant is an indication of the strong moral will. There is a need for firms in the New Zealand fashion industry to collectively join hands and ensure sustainability is achieved. Social responsibility includes creating employment for the locals and other people within the supply chain. In essence, the LYB CEO was guided by moral principle to invest in the industry, to create utility to many. In the event, she would create appropriate working conditions, especially in a third world economy like India (Lasthuizen, Heres & Webb, 2019). Ethical leadership practices take into consideration the social welfare of individuals, especially workers. To the LYB CEO, ethical practices are a must for one to build proper and meaningful relationships within the surrounding (Winter, 2017). The failure to uphold high levels of commitment to community matters can lead to a violation of ethical standards. As such, managers have to show and lead by example, as in the case of Samantha Jones. She uses the approach of the common good to ensure that employment is created and workers’ welfare is taken into consideration (Lasthuizen, Heres & Webb, 2019). The LYB CEO is an epitome of a leader who embraces ethical leadership practices.

The Little Yellow Bird CEO has managed to create New Zealand’s first ethical local fashion brand. The fact she is committed to ensuring that ethical standards are followed to the latter within the industry is indicative of her strong will to support morality (Yasir & Mohamad, 2016). She values awareness as a moral leader and ensures that decision making within the organization is value-driven. Leadership that does not value morality and wellbeing of people does not make decisions that create value to each individual (Lasthuizen, Heres & Webb, 2019). There should be a balance between work and the social life that individuals within the supply chain. In ethical leadership, it is always right to assess whether the decisions made are in accordance with organizational values. Decisions made out of corporate limits might be hard to implement hence the need for a thorough assessment. Organizational values differ from one institution to another, which necessitates leadership to consider cultural orientation in each of the organizations (Lee, Muhamat & Kawagit, 2019). The fairness approach is once more seen as applicable by Samantha Jones as a leadership strategy. She intends to create a fair and just working environment while ensuring that proper ethical standards are maintained.

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Another notable ethical leadership practice from Samantha Jones is the fact that she is focused on team building. Team building is essential as it promotes teamwork and unity among workers within the same organization (Yasir & Mohamad, 2016). By establishing a list of all agents involved in its supply chain, LYB is displaying a high level of transparency. Suppliers can identify with one another and create a culture that is based on moral principles. Equally, Samantha Jones exhibits humanity and respect as an ethical leader in the fashion industry (Lee, Muhamat & Kawagit, 2019). The way she treats her workers and anyone within the supply chain is indicative of her moral standard. Moral leaders act in a way that is kind to their subjects and beneficial to them. It is important to note that an ethical leader can sacrifice personal interests for the common good of the employees. In this case, Samantha Jones has used the common good approach to make decisions.


To sum it up, ethical leadership practices are necessary for promoting relationships within any industry. The paper has emphasized the ethical leadership practices exhibited by one Samantha Jones, CEO of Little Yellow Bird. In her decision-making tendencies, she uses different moral approaches, which has helped her. The LYB CEO has no tolerance for ethical violations as indicated by the will to start an ethical local fashion brand within New Zealand. Samantha Jones cares for the community and takes part in corporate social responsibility programs. Equally, the CEO respects all people who are involved in the supply chain of the brand. She appreciates the rights of all individuals and champions sustainability programs. The idea of establishing a recycling plant for clothes with zero waste is an indication of her strong moral will within society. Samantha Jones is a leader that an act as a role model to many individuals and CEOs across the world.


Arnold, R. (2001). Fashion, desire and anxiety: Image and morality in the 20th century. Rutgers University Press.

Bass, L., Frick, W. C., & Young, M. D. (2018). Future Directions in the Development of Ethical Leadership. In Developing Ethical Principles for School Leadership (pp. 147-159). Routledge.

Cruz, D. N. (2018). Go Golden: Applying a Universal Religious Teaching and the Ethics of Permaculture to Create a Sustainable, Just, Happier Society. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

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Winter, C. (2020). Clothing can be ethical or it can be cheap, but not both: Little Yellow Bird. Retrieved 25 January 2020, from

Yasir, M., & Mohamad, N. A. (2016). Ethics and morality: Comparing ethical leadership with servant, authentic and transformational leadership styles. International Review of Management and Marketing6(4S), 310-316.

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