Responsible Leadership and the Political Role of Global Business

University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 307.

54 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2012 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014

See all articles by Moritz Patzer

Moritz Patzer

University of Zurich - Institute for Organization and Administrative Science

Christian Voegtlin

Audencia Business School; University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration; University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Date Written: August 2013

Abstract

Globally responsible leadership is conceived as the normatively appropriate conduct of business leaders in response to the ethical challenges that multinational corporations have to deal with in the context of their global business operations. The paper argues that existing approaches to responsible leadership research neglect the ethical implications of globalization and the conditions of the current ‘post-national constellation’ (Habermas) in international relations. We review critically the existing concepts of responsible leadership and point to the normative vacuity, justification gaps, and the implementation challenges regarding these concepts. In order to address these issues, we propose a new approach to responsible leadership in global business based on Habermas’s idea of democratic deliberation. This concept provides leadership with a normative orientation when facing complex and heterogeneous business and stakeholder demands. Finally, we discuss how responsible leaders can remain capable of producing morally legitimate decisions within the factual constraints of global business.

Keywords: leadership ethics, business ethics, responsible leadership, political theory, political CSR

Suggested Citation

Patzer, Moritz and Voegtlin, Christian and Scherer, Andreas Georg, Responsible Leadership and the Political Role of Global Business (August 2013). University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 307.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2135393 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2135393

Moritz Patzer

University of Zurich - Institute for Organization and Administrative Science ( email )

Switzerland

Christian Voegtlin (Contact Author)

Audencia Business School ( email )

8 Road Joneliere
BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, 44312
France

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstr. 84
CH-8006 Zürich, 8006
Switzerland

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, 8032
Switzerland

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 84
Zurich, 8006
Switzerland
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html

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