Im­por­tance of the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship be­tween gov­er­nance, lead­er­ship and ethics – Part III

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THIS IS THE THIRD and fi­nal part of the ar­ti­cle that sup­ports the propo­si­tion that gov­er­nance, lead­er­ship and ethics are in­ter­re­lated and part of a whole that de­liv­ers the op­ti­mum re­sults . We look at how the link be­tween gov­er­nance, lead­er­ship and ethics works to the ad­van­tage of all in­sti­tu­tions, whether pri­vate en­ter­prise or state struc­tures.

Cor­po­rate gov­er­nance has much in com­mon with gov­er­nance in gov­ern­ment. The Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment’s Prin­ci­ples of Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance and the In­sti­tute of Direc­tors of South­ern Africa’s King II Re­port both go be­yond the fi­nan­cial and reg­u­la­tory as­pects of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and ad­vo­cate an in­te­grated ap­proach to good gov­er­nance in the in­ter­ests of a wide range of stake­hold­ers. They ar­gue that hav­ing re­gard for the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of good and sus­tain­able fi­nan­cial, so­cial, eth­i­cal and en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tice and lead­er­ship is core. In adopt­ing a par­tic­i­pa­tive cor­po­rate gov­er­nance sys­tem of en­ter­prise with in­tegrity, the King Com­mit­tee in March 2002 suc­cess­fully for­malised the need for com­pa­nies to recog­nise that they no longer act in­de­pen­dently from their so­ci­eties and the en­vi­ron­ment/s in which they op­er­ate.

To be rel­e­vant and sus­tain­able, an or­gan­i­sa­tion should achieve a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage. The foun­da­tion of sus­tain­able com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage is re­alised through the con­tin­u­ous achieve­ment of ad­vanced ef­fi­ciency, in­no­va­tion, qual­ity, su­pe­rior hu­man re­sources and re­spon­sive­ness to cus­tomers. This is as rel­e­vant in pub­lic or­gan­i­sa­tions as it is in non-profit and pro­pri­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions. Gov­ern­ment must meet the de­mands of its cit­i­zens by be­ing re­spon­sive to their needs by way of the de­liv­ery of qual­ity ser­vices at min­i­mal ex­pen­di­ture, and by do­ing so in­no­va­tively.

Ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship is in high de­mand. In par­tic­u­lar, there is a call from the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors as well as from civil so­ci­ety, for strong, ef­fec­tive and eth­i­cal lead­er­ship that can pro­duce the re­quired re­sult­sii. Pres­i­dent Obama sup­ports this no­tion by say­ing to those “… (leaders) around the globe who seek to sow con­flict or blame their so­ci­ety's ills on the West (oth­ers), know that your peo­ple will judge you on what you can build (re­sults), not what you de­stroy”.

The leaders of the fu­ture will be those who cre­ate a cul­ture or value-sys­tem cen­tered upon prin­ci­ples such as those out­lined in good gov­er­nance frame­works. Cre­at­ing such a cul­ture in a busi­ness, gov­ern­ment, school, hospi­tal, non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, fam­ily or other or­gan­i­sa­tion, will be the tremendous and ex­cit­ing chal­lenge of this cen­tury. Ac­cord­ing to Stephen Covey, this will be achieved only by leaders, emerg­ing or sea­soned, who have the vi­sion, courage and hu­mil­ity to con­stantly learn and grow.

In sum­mary, good gov­er­nance is achieved through the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship with ef­fec­tiveeth­i­cal lead­er­ship. Gov­er­nance can­not at­tain its promised re­sults if it is not sup­ported in an in­ter­ac­tive re­la­tion­ship with ef­fec­tive-eth­i­cal lead­er­ship. This ap­proach forms the ba­sis of the new mod­ule Lead­er­ship, Gov­er­nance and Ethics (LGE) in the MBA pro­gramme at Milpark Busi­ness School. Botha, H.J. 2006. ‘ The in­ter­re­la­tion­ship be­tween gov­er­nance and lead­er­ship: a the­o­ret­i­cal study’, Dy­nam­i­cus Jour­nal for Pri­vate Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, 1(1). Nort­house, P.G. 2004. Lead­er­ship: the­ory and prac­tice. 3rd Edi­tion. Cal­i­for­nia: Sage Pub­li­ca­tions.

Dr Hen­drik Botha Fac­ulty of Man­age­ment and Lead­er­ship,

Milpark Busi­ness School

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