Paradox and Power in Caring Leadership
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Paradox and Power in Caring Leadership

Critical and Philosophical Reflections

Edited by Leah Tomkins

Why does it matter that our leaders care about us? What might we reasonably expect from a caring leader, and what price are we prepared to pay for it? Is caring leadership something ‘soft’, or can it be linked to strategy and delivery? International scholars from the fields of ancient and modern philosophy, psychology, organization studies and leadership development offer a strikingly original debate on what it means for leaders to care.
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Chapter 2: Do leaders need to have tender hearts? Emotion and the duty to care

Joanne B. Ciulla


The chapter examines a leader's obligation to care for followers, even when that obligation conflicts with their feelings about their followers and/or their obligations to their families and loved ones. I argue that the ethical responsibility to care is a fundamental part of most socially constructed roles of leaders. Hence, feelings of care may not be as important to leaders as acting on their duty as leaders to care. The chapter begins by exploring the meanings of care and their moral implications. It then looks at the subjective and objective nature of care in feminist ethics of care and how it compares with ethics based on justice. Lastly, given the strengths and weaknesses of an ethic of care, I examine the question: Does a leader need a tender heart, or feel care to care?

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