Edited by Steve Kempster, Arthur F. Turner and Gareth Edwards
Chapter 2: A practice-based approach to developing ethically responsible leaders
Leaders face particular difficulties in exercising their role ethically: balancing the needs of conflicting stakeholders is often impossible, decisions must be taken without complete knowledge of their consequences and actions taken are often indeterminate in terms of their ethical justification. Grounded in the notion that leaders’ ability to respond well to ethically questionable situations can be enhanced despite these factors, this chapter sets out a practice-based approach to developing ethically astute leaders. Five design elements are offered as key to such interventions: building bridges, expanding perception, developing negative capability, encouraging inquiry and reflexivity, and immersive assessment activities. Through offering practices which can be honed in off-line situations, it is proposed that leaders can develop the ethical ‘muscle’ necessary for them to engage well in the ethically ambiguous territory in which they often find themselves.
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