Ethical Leadership – The Value of Forgiveness

Discuss forgiveness as a valuable leadership concept/strategy. Also, how can leaders shape the way forgiveness is applied in the workplace? Is forgiveness discussed in current business/organizational literature? 

Human interactions are characteristic of abrasions. According to Cameron and Caza (2002), forgiveness involves an offended party choosing to abandon indifference, bitterness, adverse judgment, and resentment in response to an offense. Instead, one chooses to replace the negative attitudes and emotions with positivity, positive motivations, and prosocial behavior. The Bible considers forgiveness as a universal human virtue that all Christians should aspire. As a Christian, one is required to exercise forgiveness so that God can also have mercy on them. Luke 6:37 states “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” 

A leader can promote a culture of forgiveness in the workplace by setting an example. An organization that has a culture of forgiving oneself and others promotes a space for risk-taking and creativity, which are critical values for the organization and individuals to realize their full potential (Spears & Lawrence, 2016). Forgiveness within an organization gives the offender a chance to let go of the mistakes and begin afresh. An individual who forgives others can move forward without carrying the burdens that accompany animosity, distrust, and resentment. It helps an organization to repair relationships and enhance a culture of commitment and cooperation. 

Caldwell explores the critical role of love, forgiveness, and trust in today’s organizational leaders.……………….


Caldwell, C., & Dixon, R. D. (2010). Love, forgiveness, and trust: Critical values of the modern leader. Journal of Business Ethics93(1), 91-101. Retrieved from:

Cameron, K., & Caza, A. (2002). Organizational and leadership virtues and the role of forgiveness. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies9(1), 33-48. Retrieved from:

Spears, L. C., & Lawrence, M. (Eds.). (2016). Practicing servant-leadership: Succeeding through trust, bravery, and forgiveness. John Wiley & Sons.

The Bible – National International Version (NIV). The International Bible Society. Retrieved from:

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