The virtues of leadership: contemporary challenges for global managers

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The book draws from the Positive Organizational Scholarship approach, a research stream in which the virtues of leaders have been understudied, at least in terms of the holistic approach that we adopt. The book explores how virtues and character strengths may deliver positive organizational performance. It stresses that virtues represent the 'golden mean' between the extremes of excess and deficiency, and discuss the perverse consequences of 'excessive virtuousness'. The book is intended to be neither a sermon nor a collection of pious guidelines aimed to preach virtuous virtuosity to global leaders. Nor is it a sustained attack on capitalism - not because we see no alternative or that it is the only game on the globe but because there are many different kinds of capitalisms and we think it more pragmatically possible to effect reform in these than their transformation into some utopia that, in practice, will never be what it was proposed to be in theory. Capitalism is a meaningless category, we would maintain: what is important is the constitution of different types of capitalisms, in which three complexes of actors - state, civil society and business leaders - play a constitutive role. The book addresses the book primarily to business leaders, seeking to enlighten them as to how to follow a values-based capitalism paradigm, according to which the best companies will fulfil three conditions: (1) they will obey the laws and regulations, (2) they will be guided by enlightened self-interest, and (3) be guided by values that stimulate them to make a positive difference.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages240
ISBN (Electronic)9780199653867
ISBN (Print)9780191742057
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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