This book is about the ethics of leadership. The author examines central theories of leadership and their ethical content, from charismatic leadership to transformational and servant leadership. He argues that ethical leadership is best understood in the context of virtues practised in plural communities, focusing on an ethics of responsibility. This concept includes responsibility for ideas and for awareness of the social and physical environment, as well as plural accountability and shared responsibility for other people.
This argument is developed through chapters that focus on military, religious, business and educational leadership. Each chapter is focused on a major case study, including Abu Ghraib, the Roman Catholic church child sex abuse scandal, the credit crunch and compensation, and the problems of sponsorship for public corporations. The chapters also draw out different ethical issues of leadership in general, including the use and abuse of power, appropriate leadership remuneration, leadership and development, and the necessity of wrongdoing for a greater good.
Leadership Responsibility engages with the major theoretical debates in leadership ethics across several disciplines but also remains firmly rooted in practice.