The Normative Justification of Integrative Stakeholder Engagement: A Habermasian View on Responsible Leadership

Business Ethics Quarterly, 28(3), 325-354, DOI: 10.1017/beq.2017.33

49 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2018 Last revised: 20 Jul 2018

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: 2018

Abstract

The transition from modern to postmodern society leads to changing expectations about the purpose and responsibility of leadership. Habermas’s social theory provides a useful analytical tool for understanding current societal transition processes and exploring their implications for the responsibility of business vis-à-vis society. We argue that integrative responsible leadership, in particular, can contribute to the reconciliation of business with societal goals. Integrative responsible leadership understood in a Habermasian way is not only a strategic endeavor but also a communicative endeavor. An essential part of integrative responsible leadership in light of the current societal transformation processes is the facilitation of discourses about a shared base of norms and values. This is exemplified alongside current societal developments like the European migration crisis or the emerging nationalist and fundamentalist movements in some countries. We specify how and when leadership should resort to communicative action and discuss the implications for leadership.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, discourse ethics, Habermas, leadership ethics, philosophy

Suggested Citation

Patzer, Moritz and Voegtlin, Christian and Scherer, Andreas Georg, The Normative Justification of Integrative Stakeholder Engagement: A Habermasian View on Responsible Leadership (2018). Business Ethics Quarterly, 28(3), 325-354, DOI: 10.1017/beq.2017.33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3116673

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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