The Refractive Thinker®: Vol IV: Ethics, Leadership, and Globalization
The Refractive Thinker®: Press 2010
Number of Pages: 256


Summary

PREFACE

I think therefore I am. --Rene Descartes
I critically think to be.
I refractively think to change the world.

Welcome to The Refractive Thinker®: Volume IV: Ethics, Leadership, and Globalization.

Thank you for joining us for the first 2010 edition, Volume IV as we continue to celebrate the accomplishments of these doctoral scholars affiliated with many phenomenal institutions of higher learning. The purpose of this next offering in the anthology series is to share yet another glimpse into the scholarly works of these authors, specifically on the topics of ethics, leadership, and concerns within the global landscape of business.

In addition to exploring various aspects of ethics and globalization, the purpose of The Refractive Thinker® is also to serve the tenets of leadership. Leadership is not simply a concept outside of the self, but comes from within, defining our very essence; where the search to define leadership becomes our personal journey not yet a finite destination. In the words of Dr. Thomas Woodruff (2009) “Change has no conclusion” (RT: Vol. III, p. 213).

The Refractive Thinker® is an intimate expression of who we are—the ability to think beyond the traditional boundaries of thinking and critical thinking. Instead of mere reflection and evaluation, one challenges the very boundaries of the constructs itself. If thinking is inside the box, and critical thinking is outside the box, we add the next step of refractive thinking, beyond the box. As in our first three volumes, the authors within these pages are on a mission to change the world, never satisfied or quite content with what is or asking why, instead these authors intentionally strive to push and test the limits to ask why not. Join us on this next adventure of The Refractive Thinker® where Volume IV continues the discussion specifically themed to explore the realm of ethics, leadership, and globalization. This offers yet another bite of the apple from the tree of knowledge upon an ever expanding canvas from which these authors choose to cast their paint, envisioning new horizons in which to move forward and explore the future.

I invite you to join with me as we venture forward to showcase these authors of Volume IV. The goal is to offer a chance to bring to publication more ideas for which the audience may be interested in the expertise and guidance that they offer.

Please contact The Refractive Thinker® Press for further information regarding these authors and the works contained within these pages. Perhaps you or your organization may be looking for their expertise to incorporate as part of your annual corporate meetings as a key note or guest speaker(s), perhaps to offer individual or group seminars or coaching, or require their expertise as consultants.

We look forward to your interest in discussing future opportunities. Let this continue our journey begun with volume I to which The Refractive Thinker® will serve as our guide to this and future volumes. Come join us in our quest to be refractive thinkers® and add your wisdom to the collective. We look forward to your stories.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Ethics in Educational Leadership
Educational leadership requires educators to make substantive decisions that affect staff, students, and community. Good sound judgment and practical implementation support the social and economic influences decisions have on a school community. An educational leader needs a sound personal ethical belief for moral decision-making. Deontology, teleology, and value theories form the foundation for a modern rationale of ethical thought. The resolution of societal dilemmas is important to achieving happiness and the good life through “a more orderly, more thoughtful approach to solving problems” (Beckner, p. 48). One example of an ethical dilemma is the debate of full inclusion versus isolated special education placements (Gallagher, 2001). The inclusion of special needs students in the general education programs in an ethical matter.
Chapter 2: Have We Tipped:Are We Ready to Demand Ethical Behavior from Our Leaders?
HAVE WE TIPPED: Are We Ready to Demand Ethical Behavior from Our Leaders? discussed the unethical behavior of Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff, Mark Sanford, David Letterman, Elliott Spitzer, John Edwards, Rod Blageojevich, Michael Vick, Lisa Nowak, AIG executives, and others in comparison to a study she conducted at a large federal agency where employees were asked how leadership and leader communication affected their performance. The purpose of the study listed in this chapter was to confirm findings in previous studies of relationships between leadership, supervisor communication, employee performance, and organizational performance (Ballenstedt, 2009; Partnership for Public Service, 2007; USMSPB, 2008). If senior leaders and supervisors increased their leadership and communication knowledge and skills, they increased employee and organizational performance.
Ethical leaders model behaviors of integrity, trustworthiness, listening, respect, courage, and persistence regularly (Rost, 1993). Three methods to model ethical leadership include open communication, visibility, and attentiveness. Russell Hanz, the self-professed villain of Survivor: Samoa was an object lesson in how not to be an ethical leader. Russell was a master at manipulation, lying, sabotage, and incredible good luck. He ended up with three immunity idols. However, in the end, the members of Survivor: Samoa voted for ethical behavior and respect for others, thereby ending the scandalous decade on a good note, a note of promise for the incoming decade.
Chapter 3: Physician Cultural Attitudes Towards Hospice Services
Beneficence is a fundamental concept of medicine, which embodies the notion above all, do no harm. While this principle illustrates the healthcare professional’s duty to contribute to the patient’s welfare the principle becomes convoluted when the wishes of the patient directly conflict with that of the physician. The purpose of the study was to determine the degree to which cultural beliefs influence a physician’s decision to introduce the concept of hospice to terminally ill patients and to provide a referral if the decision is made to employ hospice services. The conclusions derived from this study suggest that an initial effort at understanding the perceptions of cultural beliefs of physicians in end of life decision-making may lead to an increased awareness of the cultural beliefs of their patients and need for improved education about end of life for both the physicians and patients. This qualitative phenomenological study guided by the modified van Kaam method of analysis explored the perceptions and lived experiences of 14 physicians practicing medicine in the Mercer County, New Jersey area. Analytical synthesis of the textural data revealed the following five themes: (a) physician personal perspectives, (b) physician perspectives on culture, (c) perspectives on hospice care, (d) communication with patients, and (e) training and experience. Study recommendations include the development of a peer-mentoring program to model communication skills to younger physicians and a hospital-based cultural competency education program to enhance physician-patient relationships within the community.
Chapter 4: Behavioral Integrity: The Precursor to Ethical Leadership
Ethics transcends organizational policies, codes of conduct, what is taught in business/management schools, and even current legislation. Without a strong understanding of ethics, the moral essence of its nature and its applicability to human behaviors, organizations and society as a whole will continue to battle inequities, injustice, and dishonest leadership. “But ethics isn’t simply about all these things—right right and wrong, good and bad, virtue and vice, benefit and harm, propriety and impropriety. So too is it about principle—fixed, universal rule of right conduct that are contingent on neither time, nor culture nor circumstance” (Foster, G. 2003, p. 5). The creation of a strong, ethically-based environment is not an easy endeavor and it becomes literally impossible without the appropriate leader.
Chapter 5: How Understanding Impacts Ethics and Privacy
This chapter explores the understanding level of Highly Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (HSPII) by the IT professional. HSPII is defined as information which can be used to discern or to trace an individual’s identity either alone or when combined with other information which is held in the public domain. The IT professional’s understanding of the HSPII program is an essential component of protecting HSPII data. As the technologies being used continue to improve, so too should the understanding of how to protect the data.

In addition to the insights gained from the study presented in this article an exploration of privacy and ethical practices are explored. Individual privacy and ethical practices in the IT field and the organizational environment are key stories in the media. The amount and types of data collected by organizations today continues to grow. Of particular concern are policies and procedures that organizations incorporate to maintain the data.
The amount and types of data collected by organizations today continues to grow. Of particular concern are policies and procedures that organizations incorporate to maintain the data. This chapter is to highlight the importance of the IT professional having a sound understanding of HSPII programs. This chapter explores the following areas: a discussion of privacy, ethical considerations, the methodology of the study performed, and the results of the study. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the study’s findings.
Chapter 6: The Power of the River of Character in Organizations
This paper summarizes the results of an ethnographic research study that discovered the River of Character as the dominant cultural artifact in character-based business. The study explored how leaders nurtured a culture of character that led to superior company performance. The paper describes the underlying artifacts and practices that helped leaders and employees achieve exceptional results and positively affect client buying decisions and satisfaction. Results of character-based culture included higher sales, customer retention, and profitability for the business and high productivity, retention, and satisfaction with regard to employees. Customers and suppliers preferred doing business with employees working within a character-based culture. This paper outlines the implications of the River of Character on organizational effectiveness in other settings.
Chapter 7: The Impact That Ethics and Values Have On Leader-Follower Relationships
In the 21st Century, it is not unusual for leaders and organizations to experience ethical dilemmas. Leadership comes with authority and power appropriate for the position given. The benefits and responsibilities within these leadership positions can ignite ethical challenges that could impact the leader-follower relationship. Leaders often find themselves using the power and authority given to their position to benefit self-interests. At the same time, their followers would experience the negative effects from the leader-follower relationship resulting in mistrusts of the leader. Leaders must remember that they need to be accountable not only for their decisions, actions, but also to their followers. This is why insights and understanding into what impact ethics and values have on leader-follower relationships are important for sustaining organizational stability.
Chapter 8: Exploring the Transactional and Transformational Leadership Characteristics of Social Networking Communications
Social networking software such as DIGG, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube have changed business communication methods using real-time, two-way communiqués. Transactional and transformational leadership skills influence viewers to engage in social network communities by employing the careful use of words to connect with followers emotionally to inspire action. The purpose of this qualitative content analysis was to explore the content of top-ranking leaders who have a phenomenal number of followers on Twitter to understand how to best leverage this new media communications technology. Three predominant themes emerged that described elements of the communiqués based on the clustering of similar words found in the data, which were (a) emotions, (b) collaboration, and (c) individual action. These thematic elements demonstrated the specific transactional and transformational leadership characteristics found in communications of top-ranking leaders using the Twitter social networking tool.
Chapter 9: Globalization of Body Language
With easier travel, international media, and access to new information technology, globalization has recently become a defining buzzword in most cultures. Once, international was the appropriate way to explain the operations of multinational business. Globalization is the new term that describes interests and operations not only in most countries, but also in those operations that “functionally divide their activities in different countries, producing one part of a product here,another part there, assembling the elsewhere, marketing them throughout the world and controlling and coordinating all these activities from a home base” (De George, 2006, p. 537). Globalization is the process of interaction and integration among communities,organizations, and governments of different nations. This process“has an effect on the environment, on culture, on political systems,on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world” (The Levin Institute, 2010, p. 1). Cultural communication, including how individuals define their local and communal identity, is the ways and methods members communicate with each other through body language. By extension,the global nature of intercultural communication is no longer an option, but a necessity for leaders and followers alike; good nonverbal communication skills are part of a progressive professional portfolio and a distinct advantage to those who can master the hidden messages of body language, the focus of this chapter.
Chapter 10: Maximizing Debt Collection Performance Through Organizational Design Changes
The global financial crisis in 2008 underlined the need to achieve superior debt collection performance levels in contact centers of financial institutions worldwide. Controversy exists over the appropriate job design in contact centers to maximize performance. Kroll’s quantitative, quasi-experimental study determined significant differences in job design of the Scientific Production Line Model (SPLM) and the Alignment High Involvement Model (AHIM) on debt collection performance of 60 Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) at a contact center of a major financial services company in Mexico. The first hypothesis, examined the impact of job design on CSR productivity, indicating that job design significantly influences collector productivity. The second hypothesis showed an insignificant impact of job design on CSR effectiveness. The unique contribution of Kroll’s study was a collection model that applied the SPLM job design to enhance collection productivity and effectiveness.
Chapter 11: Systems Theory: Changing the Hegemonic Impact on Leadership Advancement for Women
Compared to men, women do not have equal access to power and organizational leadership positions. The premise behind mental models in the leadership advancement of women, based upon the poor representation of women in executive leadership positions, is twofold. First, there is a greater propensity toward prejudice and bias toward women that continue to perpetuate the problem and act as barriers to the advancement of women via a masculine groupthink concept. Second, by limiting the interaction with women at executive leadership levels, organizations will not benefit from the female decision-making perspective, which represents a large portion of the American and world public.
Hegemonic masculinity is deeply entrenched among the more powerful leadership positions of many American organizations. The issues perpetuated by this concept create barriers to the advancement of women to senior leadership positions. Gender-related stereotypes and the expectations of and for women based upon stereotypes ensure that organizations must revisit cultural mental models to create equal opportunities for women who aspire to senior positions.
The status of women and issues of inequality are deeply ingrained in the cultures, practices, and traditional views of people in the U.S. and around the world. Organizations are challenged to become learning organizations that will realize the full potential of everyone in the workforce to produce better business results, and challenge the status quo. Systems Theory offers possible solutions to the barriers to leadership advancement opportunities for women and other minorities.