It has been mentioned by Cooper in the book titled, The Responsible Administrator that a lack of character is almost like treason for an individual occupying an administrative position (2012). This is because ethical leadership combines both ethical behavior and ethical decision making (Hussein, 2005).
For this reason it has been suggested that in order for leaders to possess the ability to effectively manage others, they must first understand how to manage themselves. This suggests a form of self awareness that allows the leader understand how to work with individual strengths and weaknesses to overcome various challenges.
This self awareness is supported by habits such as strong personal character, passion to do right, proactive behavior among others (Stennes n.d.).The complication in this scenario implies the Deputy Sheriff should take on the habits of a strong leader to guide the collective bargaining to a safe and satisfactory conclusion for all.
The work of the deputy sheriff thus should entail using a step by step approach to arriving at an ethical decision. It has been observed that the first step in such a decision making process involves stating the problem (Davis, 1999). In this case the issue is concerned with making pay of the deputies equal to what is in the guidelines provided by the county charter.
The second step in making an ethical decision on the issue would require that the facts of the issue are evaluated a second time (Davis, 1999). In this regard not choosing and not acting are indecisiveness and as such has consequences (Pgaliana, 2010). It has already been mentioned that delays in acting may lead to some staff joining Law Enforcement Professional Association (LEPA) with far more adverse consequences.
Therefore at this stage it would be wise to begin dialogue with the sheriff to inform him of the issue and the role it plays on staff morale. It is also necessary the sheriff is made aware of the fact that considering staff complaints can help increase staff loyalty.
The third task to undertake in solving this problem would be to identify relevant factors of the case (Davis, 1999). This stage will involve discussion of issues such as the instructions of the county board to avoid tax increases. Other relevant factors include potential to boosts staff morale and loyalty. Following the identification of relevant factors it becomes necessary to develop a list of options (Davis, 1999).
During this stage it is god to be imaginative and avoid fixed answers and target goals such as identifying persons who can help address the issue (Davis, 199). For this reason an option to consider would be the gradual increase of pay for the deputies. Another option would be to enter dialogue with the county to create awareness on discontent within the department.
Once a list of options has been identified the Deputy Sheriff should test the options (Davis, 1999). To achieve this, the Deputy Sheriff can use various tests such as the harm test which helps determine the option that does the least harm (Davis, 1999).
The options can also be weighed using the publicity test which determines whether one would be confident with public knowledge of this choice (Davis, 1999). In addition to these tests one can utilize the defensibility, reversibility, colleague, professional or organization tests (Davis, 1999).
The identification and testing of options is important as it helps in choosing the best option among a number of options (Davis, 1999). Once the testing is completed to satisfaction, the deputy sheriff should then make a choice based on the steps completed.
In this case it appears the best option would be to allow the salary be increased in phases. This will satisfy the workers and ease the burden of increasing taxation on the county. Once the choice has been made then it is important to monitor the impact of the choice and make amendments as necessary (Pgaliana, 2010).
It is believed that decisions that are made in this fashion are often ethical and can also minimize the complications caused by varying issues within an organization. This approach based on observing participants as stakeholders can help keep organizations on track to meet organizational goals (Freeman & Stewart, 2006).
Cooper, T. L. (2012). The Responsible Administrator: An Approach to Ethics for the Administrative Role. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Davis, M (1999). Ethics and the University. New York: Routledge. P. 166-167. Retrieved from
Freeman R. E., & Stewart, L. (2006). Developing Ethical leadership. Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, 1-17. Retrieved from
Hussein, M. (2007). Ethical leadership makes the Right Decisions. Journal of Technology and Business, 1-9.
Pgaliana. (2010). Short Version ethical Decision Making Process. Retrieved from
Stennes, D. (n.d.). Ethical Decision Making and Ethical leadership. Retrieved from