An Aristotelian Perspective
New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Foreword by Jeffrey Pfeffer
Foreword There is little evidence that reforms in corporate governance have made any diﬀerence. The salaries of chief executives continue to soar in the U.S. and elsewhere as well, even though compensation committees must be independent and even though there is more disclosure of what people earn. Companies are still restating ﬁnancial results at a prodigious rate and balance sheet and income statement surprises continue, even though accounting standards have presumably been tightened, audit fees have gone up, and CEOs must personally attest to the accuracy of the reports their companies release. And in the workplace, distrust of management and disengagement and diminished job satisfaction persist, resulting in ever higher levels of turnover and, as a result, lower levels of productivity and service – just ﬂy on most airlines to see these facts at close range – even though most observers recognize a coming labour shortage and the importance of intellectual capital for business success in the modern economy. For the most part, we have attacked the symptoms rather than the root cause of the problems. Reforms have been concerned with form instead of substance, with ensuring compliance instead of changing mindsets, with promulgating ‘minimum standards’ rather than with stimulating excellent and thoughtful leadership. The mindset that seems to dominate current discourse all over the world is one that emphasizes ends, achievements and objectives, and plays down the means and processes employed in their attainment. In business and in society more generally, we do not look too hard at the price...