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How People in Organizations make sense of Responsible Leadership Practices: Multiple Case Studies

Antunes, A., M. Franco (2016), "How People in Organizations make sense of Responsible Leadership Practices: Multiple Case Studies", Leadership and Organizational Development Management, 37(1), 126-152.
Resumo:
Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the concept of responsible leadership, find some dimensions and understand how staff in organizations make sense of this style of leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

– Multiple exploratory case studies in six Portuguese organizations were performed. As data-collecting instruments, several interviews and documentary analysis were used.

Findings

– The authors found four dimensions associated with responsible leadership in the organizations studied here: aggregate of virtues; stakeholder involvement; model of leader’s roles; and principles and ethical values. These organizations integrate relationships which seek human well-being, institutions of reference considered good examples to work in and where the best of human nature is stressed. In particular, the modus operandi of their responsible leadership implants dynamics which lead to the development of individuals’ strengths, resilience and vitality.

Practical/implications

– The emphasis of this leadership style points mainly to the existence of modern leaders with an integrating, holistic view of stakeholders where the focus is on carrying out their various roles where virtuousness and ethical values play a determinant role. Interpersonal relationships, ethical principles regarding the environment, peers and the community were also practices identified as associated with responsible leadership.

Originality/value

– The study contributes to advancing theory in the field of leadership and presents a new framework (dimensions) about responsible leadership. The study is also innovative because contributes to more knowledge about organizations that follow a responsible style of leadership, and in so doing form consistent practices that can represent benchmarking for other organizational structures, even taking into account the natural idiosyncrasies inherent in the Portuguese organizational and business sector.