Research Summary

Rethinking Responsible Leadership

by Joseph L. Badaracco


   This project asks whether the model of responsible leadership that evolved during the twentieth century needs to be recast for the emerging economic and social world in which managers now work and live.  The project involves three basic steps.  The first is distilling a small set of fundamental questions about responsible leadership.  The second, which is now underway, is studying 100 cases studies of contemporary entrepreneurs and 50 historical studies of entrepreneurs in order to understand their implicit or explicit views of responsible leadership.  Entrepreneurs were chosen because they face, often in acute form, the management challenges of high uncertainty, instability, and intense performance pressure that characterize more and more of the economy today. The third step is developing a set of broad principles and practical guidelines for responsible leadership in the face of these challenges.