In the midst of ongoing corporate, government, religious and military scandals, questions have been raised about why leaders (and others) behave in unethical ways, especially when they are in positions open to public scrutiny. Concurrently, business schools have also come under criticism for graduating leaders and managers who are morally-neutral technicians, unable to engage in reflexive debate and incapable of making morally-informed judgments.
Cable’s 2009 comment about the UK Royal Bank of Scotland scandal “This is unbelievably crass and irresponsible behaviour by people who have learned absolutely nothing”, offers a challenge to all of us involved in leadership.
I will begin by discussing why leadership theories fall short and even contribute to irresponsible behavior then go on to offer possibilities for change, proposing a way of leading that foregrounds relationality and the need to make morally-informed judgments through a form of ethics I have called relational integrity.
Ann Cunliffe, Professor of Organisation Studies and 50th Anniversary Chair at the University of Bradford will explore what this might look like in practice and the consequences for leadership education.