Ethical Leadership : Moral Decision-making Under Pressure
Aidan McQuade

Ethical leadership does not simply emerge from a code of conduct, a good school, or a host of good intentions. It is an individual choice, or rather a series of choices that emerges from the complex interaction of personal values with social imperatives. This book explores how and why some people become ethical leaders in morally challenging and complex social environments. In Ethical Leadership, Aidan McQuade provides insight into the concept of human agency – the individual's choice of a course of action in response to the options posed by that individual's engagement with the social world. He puts forth a new model of human agency – the'cruciform of agency'– which recognises that the potential range of individual action emerges from the nature of the resonance that social options strike with personal thoughts. Every action adds to the individual's personal biography in ways that influence subsequent choices by confirming or changing personal values and hopes, hence influencing the way the individual subsequently thinks about the world. In explaining the potential and limits of human agency for ethical leadership, the book establishes a basis for executives, policy makers and academics to conceptualise and develop more robust and realistic approaches for the mitigation of some of the most pressing moral issues facing humanity today. These include the inter-related challenges of modern slavery and global warming, which pose such critical threats to the Earth itself. In this book McQuade not only sets an agenda for action but empowers individual leaders to find the moral courage to better advance human rights and preserve the environment even when such action requires unpopular choices.

De Gruyter
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