Moral, Ethical and Legal Leadership

Moral, Ethical and Legal Leadership


Each person often encounters myriad moral, ethical, legal issues in the work place. The clinical environment requires that nurses continuously provide leadership. Leadership is a core element that leads to better performance in the work place. Moral, ethical and legal leadership that works towards prolongation of the patients lives, equal rights to the vulnerable groups such as homeless and fair policies at the governmental policies. These issues tend to affect us leading to the reflection of these issues even at home set up.

Most of the people have been affected by these issues in life since it is often difficult to handle these critical issues in life. Most of the people are often affected in the best ways through which there can provide moral, ethical and legal leadership at any setup. The other critical question that most people question involves the factors that would be put into consideration. The most certain aspect is that these issues should be resolved. The best approach often used in resolving these issues is by using the ethical, moral and legal consideration is all our lives. Most of the organizations have developed ethical, moral and legal standards that guide most of the decision making at the work place.

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework of moral, ethical and legal leadership presents with a series of steps that guide leaders. The beginning of these steps is the analysis of the ethical, legal and moral issues. The primary goal is to ensure that facts are achieved competitively. The other critical aspect of the conceptual framework is ongoing monitoring and the evaluations of the operations at the organization to determine their ethical, moral and legal standing (Graham & Melnyk, 2014). The framework utilized by various firms is unique for each entity, but has a series of cyclic steps. The primary objective of facts is that it assist in creating ‘what is’ situation. Therefore, it would be easier to get the areas of inadequacies at the firm. The leaders will utilize the conceptual framework to provide effective leadership at the organization (Marquis & Huston, 2015).

An Example of Ethical Dilemma

Ethical dilemmas call for comprehension of the fundamental legal, ethical and moral principles that are involved in the workplace. At any place of work, various factors may influence leaders discharging their duties. In the health delivery system, various ethical, moral and legal factors may affect leaders discharging their duties. Throughout my career as a home care nurse, I have been faced by many dilemmas.

According to Marquis & Huston (2015), every home healthcare practitioner undoubtedly facing an ethical dilemmas at one of time or the other in their work. In my case, I have faced all sorts of dilemma that sometimes relate to competency assessment, patients’ safety, time-management and even reimbursement issues among others. All these issues have one thing in common; they always force a healthcare worker to step-up and act.

For starters, assessing a patiently competency is always big challenge to many social workers. I used to work with a colleague Called Anderson who always faced this problem, and would come to me for advice from time to time with a story of a similar nature. Research has also indicated that many young nurses are faced with a challenge of assessing and determining patients’ competency. Anderson once explained to me how he faced challenges taking care of a 55 years old patient named Suzy. He used to tell me “Sometimes I feel like some of my patients intentionally put themselves at risk even when my services are meant to help them become better, or ease their lifestyles”. According to him, Suzy was a 55 yrs old woman who lived alone in the suburbs of New York. She had a minor stroke, which had left some parts of her body numb, and was also forced to use a walker around the house once in a while. He said that she always made him feel like he was not trying hard enough to convince her that his services were for her own good. He explained that sometimes Suzy would be in a very good mood and all optimistic about her health, but there are also times when she made him feel like she doesn’t care about her health. Dilemma issues with Suzy would arise from many different scenarios. Anderson also complained that sometimes she would refuse his services, refuse medication, and even reject common-sense advice at times.

In this scenario, the dilemma was that the patient was putting herself at risk, and home care nurse was not well informed on the right course of action. I had to make Anderson understand that it was up to him to take the right course of action, while at the same time respecting the rights of his client. According to Graham & Melnyk (2014), a patient has a right to refuse health care services or even treatment for that matter. However, patients may fail to understand the risks associated with refusing care, and there is when the assessment of a professional health care worker falls in to play. Anderson would also complain that his patient gave him a hard time, especially when it came to taking her daily prescriptions. According to him, he would try having a talk with her on the benefits of taking all of her medication. As a social worker, talking to a patient about the benefits of taking care of themselves was never been a problem for him. However, the dilemma lay in ultimately determining whether his patient was competent enough to understand the consequences of hoarding her medication and not taking good care of herself.

From the above scenario, it is evident that Anderson faced a major ethical, moral and legal issue. Many social care workers have been faced with this dilemma at one time in their career and they have always struggled with finding the right approach to such an issue.

Role of the Moral Agent

Having listened to the Anderson’s problem, the problems need to be evaluated and better interventions put in place to resolve the problems. As a leader, there is the need to assess the problem from a multidimensional point of view (Marquis & Huston, 2015). There is also the essence of determining how best to resolve the problems. As a moral agent, I will consider all the available options when resolving the problem. It is imperative to the point that leaders often consider all the options before making a conclusion.

As an Authoritative leader, I believe that the best approach would be finding an urgent solution to his dilemma, but also fun a long term solution in case such a case arises with a different client in the future. There are various steps that I would take to resolve the situation. For a short-term solution, I would immediately call for a team approach towards solving this dilemma. By team I mean involving every other health care professional involved in providing care to Suzy. According to Benoliela & Somech (2014), a team approach makes patients feel wanted, and loved, and that her/his life matters; hence, fights to keep well and healthy not to disappoint those who care for them. All home care professionals work in close tabs with other disciplines, like physical therapists as well as other nurses who understand the patient’s history. My decision as a leader would be to make them work hand in hand and give Suzy different perspectives, and explain to her why refusing to take her medication or refusing to use a walker is dangerous. If after all parties involved have tried their best and she still refuses to listen, this is the time when such a case should be reported to me, the primary care physician. In this scenario, I will be the one responsible in making the decisions. Being an authoritative leader, I believe that there is the need to also adhere to the moral, ethical and legal standards of decision making (Azaare & Gross, 2011). It is critical that the organization upholds high standards of professionalism while addressing any patients concerns. The nursing profession calls for the nurses to uphold higher standards professionalism; hence, at no point should Suzy feel desperate or depressed to a point of giving up on her health while we have professionally trained social workers.

For a long-term solution, I would instruct leaders at both nursing and social workers departments to plan, and implement regular seminars aimed at educating nurses on how to deal with these dilemmas in their careers. These steps are required so as to improve service delivery to both in house and home patients. Anderson and other nurses play a significant role in acting as the representatives of our organization to patients recovering at their homes.  They are involved in the being the moral agents at the organization. I believe that these courses of action would go a long way in providing a remedy to the problems affecting the organization in terms of improving the quality of care. These steps have enormous benefits since it will improve service delivery at the organization. As the authoritative leader, it is imperative to consider moral, legal and ethical implications of our decisions (Graham & Melnyk, 2014).

Ethics play an important role in identifying the issues that need to be improved in an organization for better services, and if those in leadership cannot help in resolving such crisis, the vision and the mission of an organization can never be achieved. They are a practical aspect in each individual’s life at the organization (Benoliela & Somecha, 2014). The ethics bring a distinction between the good and the evil at the organization. They also help to facilitate the adherence of the moral, ethical and legal standards in the profession.

Moral, ethical and Ethical Implications

Anderson experienced the essence of the moral, ethical and legal framework at the grass root level. The above scenario also calls for the nurse leaders to improve on policies that govern the organization even to the least significant situations. A home based client matters just as much as the ones cared for in the hospitals; hence, it is the organizations responsibility to arm them with the best way to approach any dilemmas they may face in their work. As a result, when nursing leaders receive reports of such dilemmas, they should know the best approach to handle such situations, and also come up with long term solutions to the challenges at hand. According to Azaare & Gross (2011), ethical nursing leaders should stand for what is right at the organization and provide a long term solutions to issues faced by health care workers. This would make their working environments more encouraging and conducive, even when they work away from within the halls of an organization. These authors also feel that nursing leaders should also act advocates for the sake of their colleagues. Nurse leaders should adhere to the moral, ethical and legal framework of the organization by always upholding its vision and mission statements. The paramount aspect is the protection of the patient’s rights at all times during the professional practice (Benoliela & Somecha, 2014). There is the need for the nurse to revisit the professional code of conduct. These steps are essential since it acts to direct their actions at the workplace.

Leadership Style

My authoritative leadership style is essential for the organization since it provides quick solutions to the organizational problems. There leadership style does not call for a lot of consultation. Leaders who often employ the authoritative leadership style often do not involve many individuals while making decisions (Azaare & Gross, 2011). The ethical, moral and legal issues are quickly resolved at the work place. Moreover, the authoritative leadership style does not call for a lot of discussions of the issues. What the leader deems fit and appropriate in resolving the problem is the decision that is often. However, many leaders do not quickly adhere to the implications of their decisions. The basic advantages of the decision-making approach are that it often leads to quick resolutions of the organizational problems.

Additionally, it also promotes continuity in the delivery of services at the organization. The remedies to the problems affecting the organization are quickly provided.  Since the leadership style does not require much consultation, the aggrieved parties do not have time to raise their concerns. The authoritative leadership style does not entertain any dissent. Dissent is interpreted as disobedience to the leaders. However, I believe that the leadership style is the most appropriate in handling the organizational problems.


Nursing profession often calls for serious consideration of the ethical, legal and moral leadership. There is the essence of the nurse leaders to provide sound leadership that is based towards improving service delivery at the organization. Moreover, the solutions to the ethical dilemmas that the nurses are facing should be quickly being resolved. The abilities to make the ethical decisions are critical in providing leadership to the organization. Nurse leaders should empower other leaders despite their leadership style.


Azaare, J., & Gross, J. (2011). The nature of leadership style in nursing management. British Journal of Nursing20(11), 672–676, 678–680.

Benoliela, P.  &  Somecha, A. (2014). The health and performance effects of participative leadership: Exploring the moderating role of the Big Five personality dimensions European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(2), 277–294. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2012.717689

Graham, S., & Melnyk, B. M. (2014). The Birth of a Healthcare Leadership Academy: Lessons Learned From The Ohio State University. Nurse Leader12(2), 55–74. doi:10.1016/j.mnl.2014.01.001

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed.)Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

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