One critical element that determines the effectiveness of an organization in fulfilling its mandate is the leadership role. A leader’s role is to find and solve problems in an organization (Fragouli, 2019). From the onset of the Los Angeles riots of 1992, there was a failure in leadership in containing and suppressing the riots promptly. Ethical decision-making entails the adherence to a code of ethics, making decisions that benefit several people.
Ethicality of decisions during Los Angeles riots in 1992
In the case study, the Los Angeles Fire Chief stated that Police chief Daryl Gates did not accept that the LAPD was not handling the situation, knowing that his officers were not up to the task. Chief Gates’s decision to decline the National Guard’s help sooner led to the riots lasting longer. This decision was unethical, as he did not consider the greater good that would result from accepting assistance.
Implications of the ethical decision-making
It is prudent for a leader to always prepare for any eventualities. This was evident in the leadership of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Chief Edward Gomez, who oversaw Los Angeles County. He had taken the chance of unrest seriously and had put a contingency plan in place. He had seen the implications of the ongoing case and prepared beforehand. As a result, it was only the CHP that seemed ready and coordinated in this situation. Through the ethical decisions of their leader, the CHP’s response to the riot was over and above. They hence had a positive impact on the riots.
Ethical decisions and impact on the culture of an organization
The decision a leader makes not only affects the organization concerned but employees are also affected. An ethical leader takes into account the well-being of others concerning the situation at hand. Although leaders within Los Angeles at that time were all coordinating to contain the riots, some decisions were carried out ineffectively and led to responders being unprepared. By coming up with a mutual aid agreement, the various state agencies had agreed to assist each other in times of crisis and availed. By not following the laid-out procedures, LAPD Chief Gates exacerbated the situation further by leaving his charges overwhelmed by the rioters.
Community considerations in decision-making
Before the National Guard platoons deployed to the streets, they had to wait for lock plates to be mounted on their rifles to avoid accidental shootings. Although a decision was reached to wait for lockplates, the troops were later deployed because the situation had become worse. In addition, there was no clear timeline of when the gear would arrive. By considering the danger posed by the automatic machine guns, the leaders showed concern for the community at large.
Ethical decisions concerning the performance of employees
Leadership decisions as stated earlier are integral in the day-to-day operations of an organization. In the case study, the decision by the commander of the California Highway Patrol to prepare a strategy beforehand was integral in the way his subordinates performed their duties. Fragouli (2019) states that ethical decisions by a leader result in improved staff performance.” By preparing earlier and having everything they needed, the employees carried themselves professionally in their duties. The earlier decisions led the CHP to outperform other agencies because they were better prepared.
The decision-making by the CHP Commander resulted in a lot of success for them. They were able to provide much-needed support to firetrucks as they put out fires. The impact of the leadership at CHP was evident to all the agencies present. This was through the display of their preparedness, organization, and professionalism.
Fragouli, E. (2019). Employee Trust and Ethical Leadership Decision Making. Behavior Studies in Organizations, 1, 1-12.