Internal WiP: Peter Collins

Recovering the sense of moral agency in ethical leadership

Abstract: While moral agency lies at the core of normative ethics, accounts of ethical failure tend to displace responsibility outside of the individual. This ultimately undermines personal accountability and leadership. Through drawing on case studies, this paper raises issues about how ethics as a discipline and ethical leadership theories needs to reclaim the concept of agency. The paper argues that ethical leadership theories need to build into their accounts a view of agency so as to assist leaders to deal with cognitive overload so as to prevent ethical fading and also how to counter the psychological dynamics of self-protection that leads to ethical blindness. Further theorists should look to develop ways to [re]establish the non-negotiable ethical principle that personal responsibility and moral agency characterises all human actions.

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