There are three traditional ethical theories: deontological, consequentialist, and virtue. The first is deontology, which focuses on the interconnection between morals and duty. The concepts of right and wrong are identified by the rules, which can be dictated, for example, by society or religion. The outcomes do not matter as much as the action itself because morality, in this case, is measured by the initial characteristics of the performance. The second is consequentialism, which implies that the consequences define the rightness of one or another’s decisions or actions.
The most ethical choice from the perspective of consequentialism is that which leads to the overall most favorable outcomes. In turn, virtue ethics is the alternative theory and concentrates more on the personality as a whole rather than the separate actions. According to virtue ethics, the person should have certain morals and dignified qualities that portray the person’s character as virtuous. However, in some way, all three theories correlate with ethical leadership.
Ethical leadership means that the group members have to stick to the rules accepted by the majority and follow them, considering the well-being of the others. Under this type of leadership, individuals should understand and perform the principles of mutual respect, honesty, and integrity. Ethical leadership consists of parts from each ethical theory, and it can be said that they are relevant to the approach.
However, the most common it has with the deontological because, in the first place, comes the set of rules that guides the people. Therefore, evaluating the members’ actions and performance is more likely to use the concept of duty, which has to be done despite the consequences. Still, since the group strives for fairness and respect, it also has to be flexible in the policy and decision-making process, which refers to consequentialism and virtue ethics.