Ethical Leadership Style in Fire Sector Management

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Ethical decision-making denotes the process of analyzing and selecting among substitutes in a way compatible with moral principles. Social propositions in organizations strengthen individual and collective primacies beyond profits and shareholder advancement—behavioral elements influence leaders in making sound resolutions to safeguard the organizations from unethical acts. Leadership entails the need, situation, and personality of those responsible for organizations or staff. Leaders of firms or entities have the responsibility of upholding the highest grade of ethical conduct. Every person in a leadership role in the fire department or service or the non-public sector should participate in the formulation of settlements.

The principles of leadership based on ethics trace back to Aristotle, and their importance remains significant to date in various sectors, fire department included. The moral propositions have respect, justice, service to others, honesty, and community building (Chikeleze & Baehrend, 2017). According to Geiger (2020), treating others with respect remains everyone’s duty, and doing so involves treating others as ends in their embodiments but not as a means to an end. Therefore, leaders in the fire sector interpret the latter as a reference to exemplary leadership and a value in decision-making.

Ethical leadership revolves around the demonstration of moral and appropriate conduct. Those involved in the fire department’s decision-making process have a duty to ensure they act as role models to the junior personnel. According to Engelbrecht et al. (2017), fire chiefs need to set an excellent example to the probationary firefighters and driver engineers even in the absence of such low-ranking employees. However, Chikeleze and Baehrend (2017) postulate that moral leaders also present unpleasant behaviors, such as employee termination for using the department’s property for personal gains. Therefore, maintenance of personal integrity remains fundamental when deciding on crucial aspects.

Fire services such as fire fighting bear similarities with military combat. The departmental heads and entire leadership often instruct officers at the scene to design a command center to facilitate the handling of the incident. In the foreground as their battlefields, the firefighters receive orders that they execute sans hesitating (Chikeleze & Baehrend, 2017). Therefore, ethical decision-making enables those in command to effectively formulate solutions and dispatch instructions to service members on the ground while ensuring their safety as they combat infernos in building constructions.

Taking an effective and ethical resolution requires fire department officials to comprehend the systems in which they operate. Moreover, their manner of delimiting the chances for decision-making remains fundamental in the process (Geiger, 2020). The fire unit as an entity plays a significant role in providing value to its partners, which generally involves preventing the spread of and extinguishing unwanted fires in buildings and other entities. Therefore, ethical consideration starts with the department’s legitimate role and its impacts on the stakeholders.

The common good principle of ethics also provides an insight in terms of decision-making and leadership in general. According to Engelbrecht et al. (2017), the latter involves a process whereby an individual impacts a group of persons to realize a shared objective. A similar goal requires that the chiefs and the junior officers (firefighters) reach a consensus on handling an inferno in the affected building construction. An ethical leader accounts for every worker’s well-being and remains attentive to the entire department’s interest as a community. Hence, they speak an ethic of care towards their colleagues by not forcing or ignoring their intentions.

The contexts of individual merits leaders bring to their style of management entirely entail ethical decisions. As Geiger (2020) explains, leadership, morality, and decision-making play an essential role in enhancing organizational performance. The utilitarian perspective of ethics provides a practical approach in the process of formulating resolutions. Personal values such as empathy enable leaders to do what gives positive outcomes, do the slightest of harm, or result in an excellent balance of righteousness over immorality. Therefore, fire chiefs, their assistants, and other officials must consider such aspects as they decide on a mission to tackle an incident.

Ethical decision-making and leadership involve the principles of justice and fairness. During a fire incident, the chiefs have a duty of prioritizing the treatment of all subordinate officers equally. Justice requires managers to put fairness issues at the core when formulating resolutions (Chikeleze & Baehrend, 2017).

When handling an incident in building construction, none of the firefighters or other personnel should receive exceptional treatment from the fire chief or other managers unless a specific situation permits. According to Geiger (2020), treating specific individuals distinctively requires logical and clear reasons founded on moral values. In addition, leaders also play a crucial role in distributing rewards, resources, and punishments. Therefore, the regulations used and how they operate determine whether those in-charge adhere to morality’s two aspects.

In conclusion, leaders model organizations through the type of leadership they provide and the decision they make. Institutions that practice ethicality require ethical officials’ in-charge to make morally upright resolutions as they influence how others, including junior personnel, resolve fundamental issues affecting their daily undertakings. The research elaborates on the fundamental principles of ethics and how they influence decision-making and leadership, thereby providing insight into the fire sector management.


Chikeleze, M. C., & Baehrend, W. R. (2017). Ethical leadership style and its impact on decision-making. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(2), 45–47. Web.

Engelbrecht, A. S., Heine, G., & Mahembe, B. (2017). Integrity, ethical leadership, trust, and work engagement. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 38(3), 368–379. Web.

Geiger, J. (2020). Personal reflection on board leadership and ethical decision-making. Music Therapy Perspectives, 38(1), 9–12. Web.

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