Emerging paradoxes in executive leadership: A theoretical interpretation of the tensions between corruption and virtuous values

Charles C. Manz, Vikas Anand, Mahendra Joshi, Karen P. Manz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recent mini scandal surrounding questionable on-line postings of John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., raises once again ethical challenges related to contemporary business leadership. Given his visible commitment to environmentally sound strategies and other responsible business practices, Mackey's actions epitomize the irony and paradox that can surround executive leadership ethics. While this essay acknowledges the potential role of stricter legal constraints, punishments for offenders, decentralized governance systems, and rationalized structures that help prohibit power abuse, it views such rationalistic considerations alone to be inadequate. Rather, the authors suggest that the promotion of authentic virtuousness is an often overlooked yet indispensable part of any meaningful long term ethical leadership process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Corruption
  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Values & virtues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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