Good Dividends : Responsible Leadership of Business Purpose book cover
1st Edition

Good Dividends
Responsible Leadership of Business Purpose

ISBN 9781138103528
Published February 21, 2019 by Routledge
254 Pages

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

This book seeks to answer the question of ‘leadership for what?’. We shall outline an answer by focusing on responsible leadership of purpose through an inter-disciplinary perspective. Responsible leadership moves the axis of leadership from leader-followers to leader-stakeholders; away from looking at leadership as person-centric – the qualities, abilities, and effectiveness of the leader, to a focus on the purposes, responsibilities and activities of leadership. Leadership orientation is about realising value for a range of constituencies, not just the shareholders of the business. In this way this book offers up an alternative business model to that of dominant neo-liberal approaches to capitalism and its flow-on effect to the leadership project. This is a model that draws on a most obvious assumption – if leaders maximise the use of all the capitals of their business they will maximise their dividends, and thus deliver their responsibility to the shareholders as well as other relevant stakeholders.

This book explores how five dividends (based on five capitals) can be developed through attention to a sixth dividend (and sixth capital) – the dividend from our planet and communities. The planetary dividend is the flourishing of humanity – but it is also a significant dividend to the business. For example, by engaging the business in a purpose-led orientation to enhance the planetary dividend, the dividend from human resourcefulness becomes manifest – employee sense of purpose, commitment, passion and energy. The realisation of such can also connect with dividends from innovation, operations and brands. For example, the business benefits from a purpose-driven brand.

In short, responsible leadership of purpose outlines a case for leadership to focus on a connected portfolio of ‘good’ dividends as an answer to the question ‘leadership for what?’ The book is written by academics and organisational leaders. It draws on a range of research with leaders from a variety of contexts to illustrate the challenges but also the benefits of this argument. It is an ambitious book: ambitious, in terms of moving leadership towards realising purpose; ambitious by seeking to align a range of business disciplines around responsible leadership; and ambitious because it challenges the dominant assumptions that shape business leadership. However, it is based on a simple question: why would a business not wish to generate good dividends for all its stakeholders?

Table of Contents


1 Leadership of Purpose: In Search of Good Dividends

Steve Kempster, Ken Parry and Thomas Maak

2 Four Cornerstones that Underpin the Good Dividends

Steve Kempster, Thomas Maak and Ken Parry

3 Responsible Leadership: Reconciling People, Purpose, and Profit

Thomas Maak and Nicola M. Pless

4 The Good Dividends: A Systemic Framework of Value Creation

Steve Kempster, Thomas Maak and Ken Parry


5 In Search of the Financial Dividend of the Workforce: Evidence from FTSE-100 Companies’ Annual Report Disclosures

Steve Young, Sam Rawsthorne and Luke Hildyard

6 From Human Resources to Human Resourcefulness: Making the Most of Human Good Dividend

Robyn Remke and Steve Kempster

7 Social Innovation Dividend: Leading Stakeholders in Value Creation for All Our Futures

Steve Kempster and Minna Halme

8 Operational Dividend: Realising Stakeholder Value

Steve Eldridge and Steve Kempster

9 Achieving Good Dividends Through Brand Leadership

Malcolm Kirkup and Katalin Illes

10 One-Planet Dividend: Responsible Leadership as Stewardship

Thomas Maak and Nicola M. Pless

11 Leadership of Value: Leading the Leading Indicators for Good Dividends

Anthony Hesketh

Part Three

12 The Good Dividends and Governance: A Leadership Perspective

Randall Zindler

13 Applying the Good Dividends to a Business: A CEO’s Reflections

Luke Freeman, Steve Kempster and Stewart Barnes

14 Final Thoughts: Building the Evidence Base Through A Research and Learning Community

Steve Kempster and Thomas Maak

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Steve Kempster is Professor of Leadership Learning and Development at Lancaster University Management School, UK.

Thomas Maak is Professor of Leadership and Director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Ken Parry was Professor of Leadership Studies at Deakin Business School, in Melbourne, Australia.