Responsible leadership, stakeholder engagement, and the emergence of social capital

Journal of Business Ethics 74 (4):329 - 343 (2007)
I argue in this article that responsible leadership (Maak and Pless, 2006) contributes to building social capital and ultimately to both a sustainable business and the common good. I show, first, that responsible leadership in a global stakeholder society is a relational and inherently moral phenomenon that cannot be captured in traditional dyadic leader–follower relationships (e.g., to subordinates) or by simply focusing on questions of leadership effectiveness. Business leaders have to deal with moral complexity resulting from a multitude of stakeholder claims and have to build enduring and mutually beneficial relationships with all relevant stakeholders. I contend, second, that in doing so leaders bundle the energy of␣different constituencies and enable social capital building. Social capital can be understood as actual or potential resources inherent to more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual recognition (Bourdieu 1980). By drawing on network analysis I suggest, third, that responsible leaders weave durable relational structures and ultimately networks of relationships which are rich in ties to otherwise unconnected individuals or groups. Against this background I argue, fourth, that responsible leadership may result in the creation of value networks (Lord and Brown, 2001) of multiple stakeholders, which enhance social capital and thereby contribute to both a sustainable business and the common good.
Keywords responsible leadership  social capital  stakeholder relationships  leadership ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    View all 25 citations

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    25 ( #58,706 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.