The Moral Leader : Challenges, Tools and Insights book cover
1st Edition

The Moral Leader
Challenges, Tools and Insights

ISBN 9780415400640
Published August 29, 2007 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Successful leaders – at any level and in any arena – are inevitably presented with moral and ethical choices. This unique and innovative textbook is designed to encourage students and managers to confront those fundamental moral challenges, to develop skills in moral analysis and judgment, and to come to terms with their own definition of moral leadership and how it can be translated into action. Drawing on the inspiration of major literary and historical figures such as Machiavelli, Conrad, Shackleton and Achebe, and based upon an impressive array of literary sources, including novels, plays, history and biography, the book centers on four questions implicitly asked of all leaders:

  • What is the nature of a moral challenge?
  • How do people 'reason morally'?
  • How do leaders contend with the moral choices they face?
  • How is moral leadership different from leadership in general?

The Moral Leader is based upon the renowned course of the same name taught at Harvard Business School for over two decades. With an emphasis on decision-making and action, students learn to identify moral problems, to address them systematically, and to develop skills that aid them throughout their studies and their professional lives. At times challenging, insightful, and always illuminating, this book is essential reading for all serious students of leadership, management, business ethics or policy.

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Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Overview of The Moral Leader  2. Guide to Literature-Based Learning   3. Moral Challenge Preview  4. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage  5. Antigone  6. Blessed Assurance  7. Things Fall Apart  8. Moral Reasoning Preview  9. Trifles  10. The Sweet Hereafter  11. The Remains of the Day  12. A Man for All Seasons  13. Moral Leadership Preview  14. The Prince  15. The Secret Sharer  16. Truman and the Bomb  17. Katharine Graham: Personal History  18. American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center


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Sandra J. Sucher, a member of the Harvard Business School's Technology and Operations Management faculty since 1998, teaches four courses in the School's MBA and Executive Education programs: Leadership and Corporate Accountability; The Moral Leader; Innovation through Operational Flexibility; and Technology and Operations Management. An executive with 25 years of experience in service industries and non-profit management, Sucher's research and professional practice centers on ethics education, the relationship between ethics and innovation, and innovation in services.


"Sandra Sucher … has an extraordinary and excellent grasp of the process of moral reasoning and her exploration of that process through powerful literature and historical figures is just wonderful.  This should be required reading--and digestion--for every leader in every organization."

-Professor James G. Clawson, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, Charlottesville

 "The Moral Leader provides an insightful and much needed approach to effective moral leadership and its role in modern society … The book is an important resource for students and leaders who will confront difficult moral and ethical challenges."

-Professor Kim Cameron, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan