Developing strategies and skills for responsible leadership

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Arran Caza, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Responsible leadership is rare. It is not that most leaders are irresponsible, but responsibility in leadership is frequently defined narrowly and an important element of responsible leadership is omitted. On the one hand, the idea of responsible leadership is common, and the literature on effective leadership has always been characterized by an element of responsibility (Burns, 1978; Yukl, Gordon, & Taber, 2002). Responsibility in this sense most often is synonymous with accountability (as in being accountable for performance), or with freedom of action, indicating that responsible individuals have discretion or volition (as in having responsibility at work). These two connotations of responsibility are closely related, as people are more likely to be accountable if they are able to act freely (Brown, 1986; Salancik & Meindl, 1984). In these two senses, responsibility means “response-able,” or possessing the capability and the accountability needed to respond. A third connotation of the concept of responsible leadership, on the other hand, is less frequently used but equally meaningful. It refers to the ability or inclination to act in an appropriate fashion. Appropriateness is key to this connotation in that it associates responsible action with what is right, correct, or beneficial. Behaving responsibly means doing good (Walsh, Weber, & Margolis, 2003).

Additional Information

J.P. Doh & S.A. Stumpf (Eds.), Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business (pp. 87-111). Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Language: English
Date: 2005
responsible leadership, Positive Organizational Scholarship, positivity

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