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Journal cover: Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Online from: 2001

Subject Area: Business Ethics and Law

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CSR: the role of leadership in driving ethical outcomes

Document Information:
Title:CSR: the role of leadership in driving ethical outcomes
Author(s):Isaac Mostovicz, (Based at Janus Thinking Ltd, Israel), Nada Kakabadse, (Based at Northampton Business School, University of Northampton, UK), Andrew Kakabadse, (Based at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)
Citation:Isaac Mostovicz, Nada Kakabadse, Andrew Kakabadse, (2009) "CSR: the role of leadership in driving ethical outcomes", Corporate Governance, Vol. 9 Iss: 4, pp.448 - 460
Keywords:Corporate social responsibility, Ethics, Leadership
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/14720700910984990 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

PurposeThis paper aims to explain why CSR policies have failed to render organizations more ethical and to propose concepts for using CSR for improving the ethics of organizations.

Design/methodology/approachThe paper examines the literature on CSR to compare how gaps in this field of literature are similar to those in leadership theory.

FindingsThe paper posits that the different logical approaches to CSR are not necessarily ethical since ethics is based on the emotional involvement of the actor. The paper explains that leadership is not a hierarchical position but the emotional ability to follow one's worldview – either the Theta or Lambda worldviews – based on how one perceives his life purpose. The paper shows how to integrate knowledge from leadership theory to render the various CSR policies more ethical.

Research limitations/implicationsThe paper shows the implication of the need for emotional involvement in research, in general. While the paper indicates a direction for how to integrate CSR policies into organizations, it does not provide examples.

Originality/valueThe paper argues for a definition of leadership as the ability to act authentically according to one's worldview, either Theta or Lambda. Based on this context, it provides a better definition of strategy and tactics while arguing that CSR is only applicable to the latter category.

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