Psychology Specialization in Mental Health Administration (Customers Field)

  1. Ethical leadership in mental health 

In my understanding, ethical leadership is a leadership style where individuals in leadership demonstrate conduct that are acceptable and appropriate to the societal norms, virtues, and beliefs. Therefore, in ethical leadership, a leader should be as an example, communicate effectively, and be the champion for ethics.

According to Keck et al., (2018), “In their roles as strategic decision-makers and representatives of company values, ethical leaders are expected to define, exemplify, and promote ethical standards to their employees through their words and deeds.” On the other hand, Zhang et al. (2018) ethical leadership is characterized as a leadership demonstrating and promoting of “normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relations.” Lastly, Adejobi et al. (2018) argue that ethical leadership include features like humility, interest in stakeholders’ well-being, honesty, interpersonal relationship building, responsibility, fairness, transparency, empowerment, and collectivism.

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In mental health setting, strong leadership is required to meet an array of challenges and changes that occur in the field. Recently, a lot of transformations have taken place in the field of mental health where there are more needs to be done to ensure high quality access to healthcare when there is need (Jambawo, 2018). Thus, in such an environment transformational leadership is vital but ethical leadership should be its base. Based on the mental health setting, it is evident that from the three definitions, the definition by Adejobi et al. (2018) is the most appropriates definition of ethical leadership in mental health setting. The reason why the definition best suits mental health setting is that it covers a wide range of aspects like humility, transparency, wellbeing, fairness, empowerment, collectivism, responsibility, and relationship building which are key in success mental health service delivery. Patients with metal health problems need proper care, love, and understanding so that they can feel to be part of the society regardless of their condition. 


Adejobi, S. O., Stephanie, N. H., & Karla, S. P. (May 21, 2018). Perceptions of Followers About Ethical Leadership and Attendant Effects on Organizational Success. Journal of Social Change, 10, 1.)

Jambawo, S. (September 20, 2018). Transformational leadership and ethical leadership: their significance in the mental healthcare system. British Journal of Nursing, 27, 17, 998-1001.

Keck, N. (Natalija), Giessner, S.R. (Steffen), Quaquebeke, N. (Niels) van, & Kruijff, E. (Erica). (2018). When do Followers Perceive Their Leaders as Ethical? (Journal of Business Ethics.)

Zhang, Y., Zhou, F., & Mao, J. (2018). Ethical Leadership and Follower Moral Actions: Investigating an Emotional Linkage. Frontiers in psychology9, 1881. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01881

  1.  Behavior taxonomies and ethical leadership

Why are behavior taxonomies important for research and theory on effective leadership?

Behavior taxonomies are descriptive aids that can help in better analysis and understanding of complex events. Broadly-defined categories can be useful when conducting a comparison between different studies. Hierarchical taxonomy of leadership behaviors is critical in ethical leadership. For instance, task oriented is essential in problem solving, planning, clarifying, and monitoring of operations (Yukl, 2012). On the other hand, relations-oriented taxonomy focusses on empowering, developing. Recognizing, and supporting. Thirdly, external taxonomy focuses on networking, representing, and external monitoring. Lastly, change oriented taxonomy aims at facilitating collective learning, envisioning change, advocating for change, and encouraging innovation. Thus, in ethical leadership in mental health, the hierarchical taxonomy of leadership behaviors is key in ensuring that patient well-being and quality of service delivery are achieved. 

How can a leader’s behavior reflect a high concern for both task and relations?

Leaders can reflect high concern for both task and relations by using empowering decision procedures (participative leadership). In participative leadership (Jambawo, 2018). Subordinates are allowed to participate in decisions making and which in turn boosts their morale and motivates them to work because their opinions are valued (Yukl, 2012). Participative leadership reflects a strong concern for relations objectives such as subordinate commitment and development, but it can also involve a concern for task objectives such as decision quality

How are task-oriented and relations-oriented behaviors related to effective leadership? 

Task oriented behavior basically focuses on efficient and reliable accomplishment of tasks. On the other hand, relations oriented behaviors focuses on increasing mutual corporation, job satisfaction, trust, and identification with organizations or teams (Yukl, 2012). Also, relations oriented behavior tend to impact on more than one behavior while task oriented behavior affects on objective. 


Jambawo, S. (September 20, 2018). Transformational leadership and ethical leadership: their significance in the mental healthcare system. British Journal of Nursing, 27, 17, 998-1001.Yukl, G. (January 01, 2012). Effective Leadership Behavior: What We Know and What Questions Need More Attention. Perspectives- Academy of Management, 26, 4, 66-85.

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