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Business Law Assignment: Unethical Leadership under Malaysian Law



Business Law Assignment Instructions: You are required to select an unethical practice under Malaysian law and prepare a detailed report. It shall be related to leadership, Employment conditions, Marketing practices, Consumer concerns etc…


In this business law assignment, a precise demonstration of the ethical issue in the chosen unethical practice and a brief introduction of the context under which the issue falls have been provided. The unethical practice that has been selected is related to leadership under Malaysian law. It is essential to explore attributes of ethical leadership and ethical guidelines in the Malaysian Public Sector. It has been observed that due to the absence of ethical leadership and ethical guidelines in an organization, issues of mismanagement and corruption have occurred in the public sector in Malaysia. Hence, ethical leadership and ethical guidelines are regarded as the internal mechanism in the case of the ethical self-identity of the organization. It will help to develop public integrity and international community integrity towards the public sector.

Misbehaviors have raised questions based on the efficiency of departments or prescribed government agencies in managing their respective workers. It has been reviewed in such cases that some individuals of the Malaysian Public Sector were proved inefficient to follow the prescribed provisions of ethics and to uphold the ethical conduct. As per the Malaysian context, it is quite distressing to possess such individuals engaged in immoral actions that generate a major impact on the quality of public standard, the representation of the public sector. Leaders in the public sector who are inefficient in illustrating the significant examples and are unable to create well-executed ethical regulations may generate a significant impact on the credibility of the public sector in Malaysia in offering accountability and effective governance. It will depict the ineffective ethical culture and the absence of an enforcement mechanism.


Facts and Background of the issue
In order to resolve the issues associated with corruption and mismanagement, leaders of public sectors must start by inculcating sound ethical practices through well-written specified guidelines based on ethics. In order to overcome the challenges of mismanagement the corruption, it is quite significant to have effective human capital with reliable, ethical characteristics and important regulations based on ethics. Ethical leadership and ethical guidelines are regarded as the two significant elements of ethics that are quite essential in the case of the public sector in Malaysia. Ethical leadership, in addition to prescribed ethical guidelines, provides assistance to government departments in order to execute surveillance aspects and precaution monitoring of their management. Malaysia had also faced certain financial scandals in the public sector. As per the case research, some individuals of the public sector in Malaysia were not able to follow the ethical regulations and uphold ethical conduct. The major public sector financial scandals have been experienced in Malaysia. The ethical and moral standards in Malaysia have become quite worse.

Evaluating the issues using relevant literature
According to Gentile (2015), ethical leadership is referred to as an individual who possesses the capability to emerge as a role model, have good connections with the members of the organization, and uphold moral attributes. Leaders who perform their authority in an ethical manner will lead to certain ethical difficulties such as corruption and fraud. One of the main characteristics that are reviewed in the case of an ethical business organization is leadership. As per Price (2017), a particular organization is considered ethical when its leaders have the capability to explain reliable, ethical practices in any circumstance. The leaders must possess the capacity to frame ethical decisions in several aspects of the decision-making process. By performing such actions, the ethical culture in the organization will be efficiently established. Leaders are regarded as the heart and soul of a particular business.

However, as per Hegarty and Moccia (2018), a leader with ethical qualities is one that demonstrates the significance of ethical standards, makes sure that workers are complying with the ethical standards, and establishes an effective working environment. In order to maximize the productivity and performance of services, public sector organizations are required to have ethical leadership. Ethical leadership is not limited to framing an effective example but also to arouse the ethical conduct of workers by possessing detailed analysis of ethical quality and progress of business (Moutousi and May 2018).

Demonstration of the reliable model of ethical leadership
A reliable model for evaluating the issues of unethical practice associated with leadership has to be illustrated. The first attribute is the role model. In this attribute, it is expected that leaders must perform in an ethical manner and emerge as role models for all the subordinates. Leaders must also possess unique qualities such as ethical self- behavior, ethically executing their responsibilities, and ethical values. The second attribute of ethical leadership is emphasizing the three sub-attributes, such as approachability, concern, and communication. Communication is entirely based on providing firm statements, direct communications, and clear instructions. Leaders are required to communicate firm messages based on integrity as shared value with subordinates (Ozavize Ayodele, Binti Haron, and Ismail, 2019). Another attribute of ethical leadership is ethical to support. Leaders must provide a strong reminder to their workers not to compromise immoral activities.

The fourth attribute of ethical leadership is knowledge. A leader is required to be knowledgeable in all aspects of activities. Other than knowledgeable, a leader is also required to be disciplined. Discipline is referred to as the reliable method of regulating the behavior and actions of an individual through self-motivation. Disciplined leaders are required to analyze the objectives and aims of the organization. Certain shared values must also be contained within ethical leadership, such as consistent developments, accountability, teamwork, integrity, effective governance, and confidentiality (Mohamed et al., 2018). The management must equally analyze the shared values as the workers. The attribute of ethical leadership is virtual values. Certain virtual values that must be possessed by leaders are competency, honest, independent perspectives. The last attribute of ethical leadership is spirituality encouragement. Several values, mainly teamwork, discipline, integrity, innovation, authority, are required to be instilled by the leaders (Ahmed Iqbal et al., 2020). However, the ethical leader is referred to as the one that can efficiently communicate with the subordinates and evolve spiritually. Such determined attributes must become the ethical direction and ethical identity of the Public Sector in Malaysia.


Figure 1- Attributes of Ethical Leadership


Ethical leadership is one of the effective styles of leadership in which modern organizations generally benefit. Ethics is to be taken into consideration while framing decisions. Ethical leadership is quite essential in the case of the present business environment (Panait, 2017). Leaders in public sectors must set leading examples on issues of integrity that specify that activities in the public sector are not restricted to benefits of the society but also improve the application of human requirements. Leaders are required to show an effective style of leadership since they emerge as role models for their workers. Leaders are the role model of their workers to portray that integrity is implemented properly in the organization.

It is essential to offer reliable recommendations to eliminate the ethical issues already demonstrated. In order to be an ethical leader, it is essential to demonstrate and align the values. Those individuals must be recruited that possess similar values. Every employee is regarded as unique even if they possess similar characteristics. It is quite easy to accept and instill ethical practices by the employees if the public sector emphasizes having ethical leadership and framing formal guidelines based on ethics as their ethical culture. Ethical issues include not only individual attributes but also external factors, mainly policies of the government. The significance of ethical leadership in overcoming corruption issues is entirely dependent on the quality of the reward system in public sector organizations. In order to minimize the occurrences of unethical behavior and evolve ethical behavior, employers in public sector organizations must demonstrate ethical standards in an effective manner, provide encouragement to subordinates to frame decisions, and employees must be held responsible for unethical behavior. The concepts of honesty, integrity are crucial in the case of ethical leadership.

The absence of ethics in leadership generally arises due to the implementation of faulty methods or poor planning in several aspects of the business. It is quite significant to set realistic objectives for employers as well as employees. Proper training is considered as one of the efficient ways to eliminate the ethical issues in the case of public sector organizations from the beginning.

In the case analysis report of business ethics, the unethical practice that has been selected is generally associated with leadership. A short detail has been provided of the ethical issue demonstrated. Detailed information has also been provided about the ethical issue mentioned. The issues have been evaluated applying the relevant literature, and an appropriate model has also been illustrated. Reliable recommendations have also been provided to eliminate the ethical issues already demonstrated. It has been reviewed that since Malaysian public sector organizations have not followed the ethical practices of leadership, certain issues of corruption and mismanagement have occurred. The sole purpose of evolving ethical leadership in organizations is to promote the engagement of workers and maximize productivity. Ethical leadership provides the authority to establish a reliable workplace community in which staff can be trusted to perform their duties adequately. Ethical leadership has offered reliable guidance to a large number of individuals in society. The ethical conduct in the case of public sector organizations will be maximum if leaders encourage ethical conduct by punishing unethical conduct among workers and rewarding the ethical conduct. In this way, the unethical practice associated with leadership has clearly been analyzed.

Ahmed Iqbal, Z., Abid, G., Contreras, F., Hassan, Q. and Zafar, R. (2020). Ethical Leadership and Innovative Work Behavior: The Mediating Role of Individual Attributes. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 6(3), p.68.

Gentile, M.C. (2015). Learning About Ethical Leadership Through the Giving Voice to Values Curriculum. New Directions for Student Leadership, 2015(146), pp.35–47.

Hegarty, N. and Moccia, S. (2018). Components of Ethical Leadership and Their Importance in Sustaining Organizations Over the Long Term. Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 11(1).

Mohamed, N., Abdullah, A., Marha Yaacob, N. and Ahmad, S. (2018). Exploring Attributes of Ethical Leadership and Ethical Guidelines in Malaysian Public Sector. International Journal of Engineering & Technology, 7(4.38), p.847.

Moutousi, O. and May, D. (2018). How Change-related Unethical Leadership Triggers Follower Resistance to Change: A Theoretical Account and Conceptual Model. Journal of Change Management, 18(2), pp.142–161.

Ozavize Ayodele, F., Binti Haron, H. and Ismail, I. (2019). Ethical Leadership, Ethical Leadership Climate, and Employee Moral Effectiveness: A Social Learning Perspective. KnE Social Sciences.


Price, T.L. (2017). A “critical leadership ethics” approach to the Ethical Leadership construct. Leadership, 14(6), pp.687–706.


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