Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship
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Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship

Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo

The Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship identifies and fosters key interdisciplinary research on corporate citizenship and provides a framework for further academic debate on corporate responsibility in a global society.
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Chapter 19: Responsible Leadership in a Globalized World: A Cosmopolitan Perspective

Thomas Maak and Nicola M. Pless


Thomas Maak and Nicola M. Pless If our world is to be a decent world in the future, we must acknowledge right now that we are citizens of one interdependent world held together by mutual fellowship as well as the pursuit of mutual advantage, by compassion as well as self-interest, by a love of human dignity in all people, even when there is nothing we have to gain from cooperating with them. (Martha Nussbaum 2005, pp. 217–18) The quest for responsible leaders One of the key lessons to be learnt from Enron and other corporate scandals in recent years is arguably that it takes responsible leadership and responsible leaders to build and sustain a business that is of benefit to multiple stakeholders and not just to a few risk-seeking managers. The scandals have triggered an ongoing and broad discussion on the role of business in society: on its legitimacy, obligations and responsibilities. As a result, businesses and their leaders are increasingly held accountable for what they do – and fail to do – by multiple stakeholders and society at large. Moreover, given the increase of power and influence of large multinational corporations (MNCs), stakeholders expect that business leaders take a more active role and acknowledge their co-responsibility in solving the world’s most pressing problems such as protecting and promoting human rights, global warming, contributing to poverty alleviation and the fight against diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. There is widespread agreement that MNCs and their leaders have both power...

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