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How Does Accountability Apply to Ethical Considerations in Leadership & Management?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Accountability at work » How Does Accountability Apply to Ethical Considerations in Leadership & Management?

Accountability and Ethical Consideration Go Hand-in-Hand

Of all the soft skills a person can acquire, accountability is the foremost. When accountability comes into the picture, you can meet your goals and reach the level you wish to be at.

As a leader holding yourself and your employees accountable is extremely important. When people are held accountable, their ethical, social, and moral demeanour changes to fulfil their accountability.

Leaders make ethical decisions to promote the organization to move in the right direction. Leaders are meant to uphold sustainable, forward, and ethical behaviour in an organization. Accountability and ethical consideration go hand-in-hand and make management and leadership smooth.

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What Are Ethical Considerations?

As organizations become increasingly dependent on the way they interact with the outside world and with their employees, ethical considerations play an essential role in the way an organization is perceived. Ethical considerations also depend on the way employees work within the organization and interact with organizational goals.

Are There Any Rules For Ethical Considerations?

When a person or an organization behaves ethically, it doesn’t mean they always do the ‘right thing’. Ethical behaviour means the person or organization is acting in a socially responsible manner.

This social responsibility comes as a part of inept behaviour and is not necessarily defined by the legislation. Even if something might not be a part of the legislation but can be seen as ethically sound, it becomes the employee, leader, and management’s responsibility to fulfil that action.

What Do Leadership Ethical Considerations Include?

As a leader, you will have to take several steps to ensure your employees are ethically taken care of. Some examples of ethical consideration in the management and leadership roles include:

  • Paying an equal and fair wage
  • Providing decent work conditions
  • Providing safety measures within the office.
  • Allowing working flexibility
  • Having a reasonable expectation regarding results.
  • Understanding work-life balance
  • Considering employee’s personal issues that can affect the work.
  • Not making a profit by murdering fundamental human rights.
  • Utilizing sustainable methods to create business and organizational steps.

What Do Ethical Considerations Do For A Leader?

Ethical considerations lead the organization and all the leaders to be accountable towards the external and internal forces.

Externally, accountability is necessary for a leader to keep the organization going in a business environment. Internally, accountability is needed for a team to stay intact with happy and productive employees.

Whistleblowing Vs. Accountability For Ethical Considerations

The two main methods leaders use to promote an ethical and productive environment within the organization are whistleblowing and accountability. Let us have a look at the two methods and how it affects leadership.


Whistleblowing is a method used by leaders wherein one employee might report on the misconduct of others. To promote the culture of whistleblowing, leaders often employ methods such as hotlines and incentives.

While whistleblowing has been proven as a successful method for years, it cannot be used as the primary leadership method. When whistleblowing becomes a part of the team’s culture, a looming fear of discord and disunity is created within an organization.

Due to the whistleblowing culture, employees do not conduct ethical considerations. Instead, they stick to the rules and make ethically wrong decisions to stay true to the legislation.


Accountability is the leadership method that allows each employee to be responsible for their actions. Through accountability, each person will conduct activities according to what feels true to them, regardless of what the legislation might state.

When an accountability culture is instated in an organization, a state of unity develops within the team. When there’s unity, people undertake ethical considerations seriously. Therefore, the organization becomes more productive and ethically sound.

When accountability is applied to a leadership and management structure, each employee assumes responsibility for their actions. So, when a person cannot undertake their responsibilities for whatever reasons, others take up their responsibilities for a short period.

Application of Accountability in Management and Leadership

When it comes to leadership and management in the corporate world, accountability is not the default. Instead, a leader who uses accountability methods within their teams is rare and exceptional.

Leaders must form a good rapport with their employees to apply a culture of accountability within a leadership role. Once the employee and leader rapport is set, the entire team can sit together and have an accountability talk, wherein the actions and responsibilities of each individual are discussed.

When an entire team is aware of each other’s stance on a particular action, ethical consideration and accountability can occur. If accountability plays a vital role in an organization, most major ethical infractions can be dismissed through personal responsibility.

Summing Up

Accountability plays an important role when it comes to ethical considerations in the form of management and leadership. It is only through assumed and imposed accountability that employees can be truly ethical in their actions.

Ethical leadership positively impacts employee accountability at work. The higher the employee accountability, the better their chances of taking the organization forward and achieving its goals.