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What does it mean to be responsible? Addressing the missing responsibility dimension in ethical leadership research


Voegtlin, C (2016). What does it mean to be responsible? Addressing the missing responsibility dimension in ethical leadership research. Leadership, 12(5):581-608.

Abstract

This paper extends research on ethical leadership by proposing a responsibility orientation for leaders. Responsible leadership is based on the concept of leaders who are not isolated from the environment, who critically evaluate prevailing norms, are forward looking, share responsibility, and aim to solve problems collectively. Adding such a responsibility orientation helps to address critical issues that persist in research on ethical leadership. The paper discusses important aspects of responsible leadership, which include being able to make informed ethical judgments about prevailing norms and rules, communicating effectively with stakeholders, engaging in long-term thinking and in perspective taking, displaying moral courage, and aspiring to positive change. Furthermore, responsible leadership means actively engaging stakeholders, encouraging participative decision making, and aiming for shared problem solving. A case study that draws on in-depth interviews with the representatives of businesses and nongovernmental organizations illustrates the practical relevance of thinking about responsibility and reveals the challenges of responsible leadership.

Abstract

This paper extends research on ethical leadership by proposing a responsibility orientation for leaders. Responsible leadership is based on the concept of leaders who are not isolated from the environment, who critically evaluate prevailing norms, are forward looking, share responsibility, and aim to solve problems collectively. Adding such a responsibility orientation helps to address critical issues that persist in research on ethical leadership. The paper discusses important aspects of responsible leadership, which include being able to make informed ethical judgments about prevailing norms and rules, communicating effectively with stakeholders, engaging in long-term thinking and in perspective taking, displaying moral courage, and aspiring to positive change. Furthermore, responsible leadership means actively engaging stakeholders, encouraging participative decision making, and aiming for shared problem solving. A case study that draws on in-depth interviews with the representatives of businesses and nongovernmental organizations illustrates the practical relevance of thinking about responsibility and reveals the challenges of responsible leadership.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Date:2016
Deposited On:28 May 2015 07:09
Last Modified:26 Oct 2016 01:00
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1742-7150
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1742715015578936
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:12074

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