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Contemplative Leadership: The Possibilities for the Ethics of Leadership Theory and Practice

Grandy, G and Sliwa, M (2017) 'Contemplative Leadership: The Possibilities for the Ethics of Leadership Theory and Practice.' Journal of Business Ethics, 143 (3). 423 - 440. ISSN 0167-4544

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Abstract

© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. In this paper, we offer a conceptualization of leadership as contemplative. Drawing on MacIntyre’s perspective on virtue ethics and Levinas’ and Gilligan’s work on the ethics of responsibility and care, we propose contemplative leadership as virtuous activity; reflexive, engaged, relational, and embodied practice that requires knowledge from within context and practical wisdom. More than simply offering another way to conceptualize the ethics of leadership (e.g., what leaders ought to do), this research contributes to understanding the ethics of leadership in practice. Empirically, we analyze the narratives of those in positions of formal authority and other organizational members in churches. We illustrate contemplative leadership as driven by a good purpose, derived from the unique organizational and broader societal context in which leadership occurs, and grounded in an ethical concern for the other. Contemplative leadership accounts for the complexity of experience and is discerned in mundane and everyday practices. We conclude with the implications for leadership theory, practice, and education.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 13:31
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 18:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18386

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