Organizational Change, Leadership and Ethics: Leading Organizations towards Sustainability, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Organizational Change, Leadership and Ethics

Leading Organizations towards Sustainability, 1st Edition

Edited by Rune Todnem By, Bernard Burnes


274 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Given recent financial crises and scandals, the rise of corporate social responsibility and the challenge of environmental sustainability, few would disagree that the role of ethics has taken centre stage in the management of organizations. In reality, however, organizations have found it extremely difficult to promote successful, ethical behaviour as this rarely results in short-term gains which can be appraised and rewarded.

By and Burnes bring together leading international scholars in the fields of organizational change and leadership to explore and understand the context, theory and successful promotion of ethical behaviour in organizations. By focusing on real world examples, contributors analyze the issues and challenges that hinder ethical change leadership which can lead to sustainable organizations.

This unique volume brings together the worlds of organizational change, leadership, business ethics and corporate social responsibility, resulting in a book that will be valuable reading in all four fields. With contributions from leading scholars, including David Boje, Dexter Dunphy, Suzanne Benn and Carl Rhodes, Organizational Change, Leadership and Ethics is a must-read.


'Burnes and By have pulled together contributions from some serious scholars on a topic that deserves serious attention. The result is a great resource for those that want to understand how today’s organizations might best respond to the challenge of sustainability.'

Robert MacIntosh, University of Glasgow, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction: Ethical Change Leadership (Rune Todnem By and Bernard Burnes) Part I: Context and Theory 1. Leadership Ethics and Organizational Change: Sketching the Field (Moritz Patzer and Christian Voegtlin) 3. Perceptions and Development of Ethical Change Leadership (Rebecca Newton) 3. Justice and the Ethical Quality of Leadership (Carl Rhodes) Part II: Ethical Change Leadership: Issues and Challenges 4. Virtuality and Materiality in the Ethics of Storytelling Answerability: Implications for Leadership and Change (David M. Boje and Matt Elmore) 5. Mind the Gap: Hypocrisy Monitoring and Integrity Striving as a Source of Ethical Leadership (Ronald Dufresne and Judith Clair) 6. Moral Agency in Strategic Change: Coping with Ethical Tensions through Irony (Henrika Franck-Möller and Saku Mantere) Part III: Change Leadership and Ethics: Success and Failure 7. Incompetent or Immoral Leadership? Why Many Managers and Change Leaders get it Wrong (Thomas Diefenbach) 8. Leadership Narcissism, Ethics and Strategic Change: Is it Time to Revisit our Thinking about the Nature of Effective Leadership? (Malcolm Higgs) Part IV: Ethical Change Leadership and Organizational Sustainability 9. Leadership for Sustainable Futures (Dexter Dunphy and Suzanne Benn) 10. Leadership for the Age of Sustainability: A Dualities Approach to Organizational Change (Fiona Sutherland and Aaron C. T. Smith) Part V: Conclusions 11. Looking Back to Move Forward (Bernard Burnes)

About the Editors

Rune Todnem By is Academic Group Leader (Organizational Behaviour, Leadership and Change) at Staffordshire University Business School, UK. He is the editor of Routledge's Journal of Change Management and co-editor of Managing Organizational Change in Public Services (2009, Routledge). His research interests span organizational behaviour, organizational change, leadership, ethics and public services management.

Bernard Burnes is Professor of Organizational Change in the Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester, UK. His teaching and research cover organizational change in its broadest sense. This includes the history, development and current state of organizational change, organizational and inter-organizational behaviour, leadership, strategy and culture. He is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Organizational Change (2011).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Organizational Change & Development

It is often stated that some 70% of all change projects fail. Though this figure can be disputed, it is nevertheless clear that managing change is one of the most difficult tasks facing organizations today. In response to this, writers offer a wide range of theories and advice designed to aid managers and scholars in understanding and managing change, but which seem merely to overwhelm them with a profusion of competing and conflicting advice and approaches. In many respects, change is a field which epitomises the ‘rigor-relevance’ debate. We have many approaches to change which are built on sound research and robust theories, but which appear to lack relevance for managers. We also have a vast array of nostrums, practices and tools which managers use, but which appear to lack methodological or theoretical foundations.

The aim of this series is to cut through the confusion surrounding the study and practice of change by providing comprehensive and in-depth studies of existing and emerging approaches to change. The rationale for the series is that we cannot understand organizational change sufficiently nor implement it effectively unless we can evaluate the various approaches in terms of the evidence which underpins them, what they seek to achieve and how and where they can be applied. In particular, the series seeks to address, but is not limited to, the following questions:

  • What are the emerging themes in the field of organizational change?
  • Which theories and approaches to change have stood the test of time?
  • What are the key debates within the field?
  • How has the field been influenced by and incorporated newer approaches to organizational life, such as postmodernism, social constructionism, critical realism, and complexity theories?
  • What is the current status of OD (organization development)?
  • To what extent have countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America developed their own distinct approaches to change?
  • How are developments such as social media and virtual organizations affecting the way organizations perceive and carry out change?
  • Do successful organizations adopt different approaches to change than unsuccessful ones, or do they use the same approaches but more effectively?

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development