Empathy in Leadership: Appropriate or Misplaced? An Empirical Study on a Topic that is Asking for Attention
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 105 (1):95-105 (2012)
Leadership has become a more popular term than management, even though it is understood that both phenomena represent important organizational behaviors. This paper focuses on empathy in leadership, and presents the findings of a study conducted among business students over the course of 3 years. Finding that empathy consistently ranked lowest in the ratings, the researchers set out to discover the driving motives behind this invariable trend, and conducted a second study to obtain opinions about possible underlying factors. The paper presents the findings of both studies, as well as literature reviews on the differences between management and leadership, a historical overview of leadership, a reflection of 21st century leadership, the ongoing debate on the effects of corporate psychopaths on ethical performance, and scholars’ perception on empathy in corporate leadership. The findings indicate the need for a paradigm shift in corporations as well as business schools in regards to leaders’ required skills, and suggest a proactive approach from business faculty to change the current paradigm.
|Keywords||Empathy Leadership Emotional intelligence Narcissism Psychopaths Servant leadership Social skills|
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References found in this work BETA
Clive R. Boddy, Richard K. Ladyshewsky & Peter Galvin (2010). The Influence of Corporate Psychopaths on Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Commitment to Employees. Journal of Business Ethics 97 (1):1 - 19.
Roger Eugene Karnes (2009). A Change in Business Ethics: The Impact on Employer–Employee Relations. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):189 - 197.
Citations of this work BETA
Joerg Dietz & Emmanuelle P. Kleinlogel (2013). Wage Cuts and Managers' Empathy: How a Positive Emotion Can Contribute to Positive Organizational Ethics in Difficult Times. Journal of Business Ethics 119 (4):1-12.
Matthias Philip Hühn (forthcoming). You Reap What You Sow: How MBA Programs Undermine Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics.
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