Two Questions

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Initial post for EACH question should be at least 250 words and must substantively integrate the assigned readings from the module with proper APA style formatting. DUE THURSDAY BY NOON

Question 1)

It may help, prior to answering this question, to review the film scene from the hearing that begins at about 1:10 and runs for the next five minutes. As the scene ends, Senator Hanson states that she understands that “Between the two of us [herself and Senator Runyon], I’m the one who’s under oath.” After this scene, Senator Hanson meets with Congressman Webster.

At the end of this scene, Senator Hanson says, “My private life is nobody’s business.” Webster replies, “The people will tell you it is their business. You’re setting the standards of morality for their children, especially for their daughters.” 

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Which of them is right, and how does your choice reflect your understanding of the stages of moral development?



Question 2)Accurately assessing your own stage of moral development and analyzing how you achieved your current level will be a valuable tool in your continued development as a leader. Towards this goal, please review Kohlberg’s Six Stages of Moral Development.


Gardner, W. L., University of, N., Avolio, B. J., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2005). Authentic Leadership Theory and Practice : Origins, Effects and Development. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.




MORALS/ETHICS – Various characters in The Contender appear to be at different stages of moral development, and some learn and grow as the film progresses, while others remain rigidly fixed. As you view the film, be alert to some of these stages and to the various arcs or moral stagnation of the major characters.

Many people have difficulty distinguishing between morals and ethics. Morals relate to the judgment of right and wrong in behavior. Ethics are a system of moral values. So, in other words, morals are about deciding whether to do the right thing or the wrong thing, and ethics are about deciding what the right or wrong thing actually is.

So, let’s take drunk driving as an example. I think we could all agree that drunk driving is wrong. If you are out and you have had a few beers and you are trying to decide whether or not to get behind the wheel of your car, you are making a moral decision. You know that drunk driving is wrong, and you’re trying to decide whether to do the right thing or the wrong thing.

Morals are about deciding whether or not to cross the line. Ethics are about deciding where the line is.

Researchers in human development tend to agree that people are likely to move through several stages of moral development. Most of the literature centers on the work of Piaget and Kohlberg. You will contrast Piaget’s Stages of Moral Development with Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development as you read the article, Moral Leadership: Explicating the Moral Component of Authentic Leadership.

Walumbwa, F. O., Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., & University of, N. (2005). Authentic Leadership Theory and Practice: Origins, Effects and Development. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.Model of Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

Kohlberg’s Model of Moral Development (Based on Lawrence Kohlberg, “Stages of Moral Development as a Basis for Moral Education.”

Beck, C. M., Crittenden, B. S., and Sullivan, E. V. (eds.) (1971). Stages of Moral Development as a Basis for Moral Education. In Moral Education: Interdisciplinary Approaches. University of Toronto, Toronto. 23-92.

Moral insight ideally leads directly to firm ethical choices made after carefully weighing evidence from multiple sources. For some, this stage of moral thinking is acquired in adulthood, but others never reach this stage. The evolution of moral development is illustrated by the character of Webster in The Contender. He follows authority unquestioningly at first, but quickly starts to move back and forth between Runyon’s rigid morality and Senator Hanson’s firm sense of privacy.

Of course, some believe that politics and business are simply a game. Albert Carr postulates that a successful businessman will not adhere to the standard rules of morality. Some might argue that this idea may be extended to politics. With this in mind, Carr’s view that business is similar to a game of poker, might also hold for the “business” of politics. According to Carr, poker is a game that demands an:

“intimate knowledge of the rules, insight into the psychology of the other players, a bold front, a considerable amount of self-discipline, and the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to opportunities provided by chance… Poker’s own brand of ethics is different from the ethical ideals of civilized human relationships… (It requires) Cunning deception and concealment of one’s strengths and intentions, not kindness and open heartedness… And no one should think any worse of the game of business because its standards of right and wrong differ from the prevailing traditions of morality in our society” (145).

This application of situational ethics helps explain why some will perceive the actions of various characters in the film as moral and others will perceive their actions as amoral.



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