Managing for the common good: Prosocial leadership.

Organizational Dynamics (Impact Factor: 0.79). 01/2004; DOI: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2004.06.005

ABSTRACT Leadership is a pervasive, public construct. Leadership, for practical and theoretical description, is systematic, purposeful influence. Leadership theories have focused on what leaders are like (personality or trait-based approaches), what leaders say(charismatic), what leaders do (style-based), and when leaders do it (contingency theories). While the implicit, accompanying message to any leadership theory is that the leader needs to produce results, less has been studied or written concerning the leader's specific, articulated and accepted aspirations and the social value or valence of these aspirations. More important, what and whose results matter most in the analysis? Should the results please the leader or his or her followers? The public or the leader's organization? While we have developed a cult of leadership, we have also developed leadership models that can be used to produce and to explain leadership's banal or evil side. We offer approaches to leadership that can lead us to hell. Leadership entails risk, change and accountability. A person engaging in systematic, purposeful influence behavior must be willing to accept accountability for his or her decisions and actions. A good leader places the concerns of followers and customers ahead of the leader's own interests. A good leader is prosocial. This article looks at prosocial leadership across organizations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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