Ethics and the Three Tiers of Management Part 1

Published July 9, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


Leaders interested in developing an ethical culture are dedicated to the creation and advancement of best practices in business ethics. In addition, they practice corporate social responsibility and implement anti-corruption programs with systems that are sustainable. In spite of all the changes that continue to shape how business is conducted in today’s market place, there are still certain aspects of organizational management that remain the same such as the general distinction of a group’s managerial levels. In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack (2012) points out that at the center of every organization you will find the following three tiers of management: (a) the first-line supervisors who are in the role of operational managers; (b) the middle managers who play the part of tactical managers; and (c) the CEO and top management staff members who act as the organization’s strategic managers. Leaders focused on building an ethical culture will address different ethical issues at each level.


Individuals, for instance, who climb a company’s managerial ladder, typically begin their career at the entry level. Later, they work on moving into a supervisor role and afterwards can choose whether to continue their pursuit and climb the corporate ranks until they reach a CEO position. As a result of this strategy, those individual’s orientation, duties, and required skill sets, will evolve. In other words, as managers rise in corporate executive positions, concepts they obtain along the way from their experiences in organizational behavior, will assist their ability to build and refine the talents needed to achieve successful outcomes at each level while avoiding unethical conduct. The most effective way to achieve these results is to address what constitutes right and wrong behavior in general, as well as within each managerial tier.

Ethics Audio Ad New release

In my eBook, Ethics in the Real World, I share from my own experiences as a corporate professional, several examples of how ethical issues are addressed and I also reveal how one staff member with outdated views on morality, in addition to his confusion on what constitutes ethical behavior in the workplace, almost got him arrested. On Friday we will look at how these different managerial levels are addressed in the development of an ethical culture. Until then, keep working on expanding your leadership skills!


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein



Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: