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Moral integrity in leadership: why it matters and why it can be difficult to achieve

By Nicholas Emler and Tina Cook

Abstract

This chapter discusses leadership, moral integrity, and difficulties in ensuring moral integrity in leadership. The chapter advances the following arguments: (1) It does matter how is in charge, and the available evidence does not unequivocally support the objections to this view. (2) The personal qualities that matter in leaders include moral integrity. (3) Some of the processes that determine access to positions of leadership are insufficiently sensitive to relevant personal characteristics. (4) In particular, the top-down or bureaucratic processes that exist in many organizations are less likely than bottom-up processes to eliminate leadership candidates with moral flaws. The authors argue that moral integrity in leadership matters because of the opportunities to do immense harm available to those who occupy leadership positions. Lack of moral integrity in a leader is thus of far greater consequence than lack of conscience, self-control, or tolerance in any private citizen acting alone

Topics: HD Industries. Land use. Labor, BF Psychology, HM Sociology
Publisher: APA Press
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:11628
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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