Leadership is a phenomenon that has interested people for hundreds of years. One rather outdated explanatory approach still plays a prominent role in practice and the media in particular: The so-called Great Man Theory. In this blog we present what this theory is all about and why it is time to look for alternative approaches.
The capability to lead and influence people is essential for success even beyond management. Professionals without a formal leadership role find themselves more and more often in situations where it is key to deliberately influence people, teams, divisions or the whole organization. Thus despite – or perhaps precisely because of its great relevance, leadership is often seen as something mystic. This impression is reinforced by a large number of popular business bestsellers about leadership, CEO biographies, and executive consultants who rely on individual experiences and anecdotal evidence when writing and talking about leadership. These sources generally provide only a limited informative value and therefore are of questionable use for the development of leaders and professionals.
This CQ Dossier focuses on the topic of authentic leadership which emphasizes the importance of leaders building honest and transparent relationships with their followers. The dossier describes the key component of authentic leadership and also describes how organizations can best identify and develop these behaviors in management.
Organizations often face tensions in reconciling their social and ethical values with daily practice. Drawing from broader literature across sectors, it emerges that social justice management is an approach with useful practices for all organizations. Learning to balance moral value with material interest can help organizations stay on top of change, remain flexible, and gain more commitment from employees. Through social justice-based strategies for management organizations can learn to ‘practice what they preach’, reconcile tensions, and stay true to their values.