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Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow Paperback – November 10, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1412941297 ISBN-10: 1412941296 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 2nd edition (November 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412941296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412941297
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,021,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Johnson’s revised and expanded edition of this popular and user-friendly textbook continues with the central themes and cases of the first edition, but provides new and relevant examples, original cases studies rooted in recent historical events, and an innovative focus on assessment that should prove helpful to both students and instructors. For readers familiar with the First Edition, this Second Edition is worth the additional investment. Every chapter has at least one new case study and previously cited 126 Book reviews cases have been updated. The relevance and utility of these cases cannot be overstated for they bring a practicality to the text that will make for lively discussion in the classroom.
Case studies illuminate ethical principles and lapses in events surrounding Enron, WorldCom, the World Trade Organization (WTO), Arthur Andersen, sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy, the Air Force Academy, and NASA among others. The cinema also provides a fertile area to tap by way of example, and Johnson mines films such as 'The Insider, The Gathering Storm, Dead Man Walking, The Pianist' and 'Erin Brockovich 'to dramatise salient points. The variety of such broadly chosen examples, derived from current events, should help to make ethics come alive for students in ways that demonstrate the every day importance of ethical leadership.
The text is organised into four parts. Part One, ‘The shadow side of leadership’, relies on the Jungian construct of the shadow side of the personality, following the maxim, ‘the brighter the light, the larger the shadow’. Johnson believes that an effective way for leaders to understand how the shadow side might influence their behaviour is to acknowledge existence of shadows forthrightly. Typical shadows cast by leaders include: the abuse of power and privilege; deception; misplaced and broken loyalties; inconsistency and irresponsibility. Any reader with leadership responsibility or even enmeshed in a complex organisation may not be able to resist the temptation to begin self-analysis and organisational scrutiny immediately.
Part Two, ‘Looking inward’, the most appealing section for this reviewer, examines why it is that leaders often do more harm than good. The author proffers a variety of views on evil, both personal and systemic, and appeals to a model of forgiveness as a way to break the cycle of institutionalised evil. In response to the many patterns of evil easily discernible in the world, Johnson counsels spirituality and reflection, affirming the value of spiritual disciplines that most readers will find have some resonance with several religious traditions. The interdisciplinary approach here is appealing. Students from a variety of academic backgrounds will find something here that invites further reflection.
Part Three, ‘Ethical standards and strategies’, summarises and reviews selections from the knowledge base in ethical theory. Kant, Rawls and Mill are introduced. Discussion of James McGregor Burns, Rost and Greenleaf come in the chapter entitled ‘Normative leadership theories’. This section is unsatisfying in its quick treatment of major ethical treatises. Indeed, the introduction, analysis, comparison and critique of Kant’s categorical imperative are handled in less than two pages and several hundred words. Utilitarianism receives similar treatment. This material might suffice for an introductory course at an early, undergraduate level, but advanced undergraduates and graduate students will arguably require more detail, information and nuance.
Part Four, ‘Shaping ethical contexts’, concludes the text with a focus on group dynamics and building an ethical capacity in small groups. The ethical challenges inherent in cultural diversity round out the text, along with an admonition to be wary of ethnocentrism and prejudice.
As a classroom text for undergraduate courses in leadership and ethics, it is difficult to find a more comprehensive book that provides both the theoretical background and practical application of ethical theory in one place. Even with the caveat that some Book reviews 127 students will need a stronger intellectual framework, this is a valuable book. Instructors will find the text versatile in this regard, as its organisation allows for either a linear approach from beginning to end or a more creative, theme-based approach. A highly structured table of contents and a detailed subject/author index serve such an end well. A significant contribution to the pedagogy of ethics, this book should continue to enjoy wide usage and popularity."
(Dr Ronald J. Nuzzi Journal of Moral Education 2006-01-09)

About the Author

Craig E. Johnson (PhD, University of Denver) is professor of Leadership Studies and former director of the Doctor of Business Administration program at George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon. He teaches undergraduate courses in leadership, ethics, and management. Previously he served as chair of the university’s Department of Communication Arts. Johnson is the author of Organizational Ethics: A Practical Approach (also published by SAGE) and co-author, with Michael Z. Hackman, of Leadership: A Communication Perspective. He has published research findings, instructional ideas, and book reviews in The Journal of Leadership Studies, The Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, The Journal of Leadership Education, Academy of Management Learning and Education, The International Leadership Journal, Communication Quarterly, Communication Reports and other journals. Johnson has led and participated in service and educational trips to Kenya, Rwanda, New Zealand, China, Brazil, and Honduras, and has held volunteer leadership posiitons in a variety of religious and nonprofit organizations.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Fantastic book, I actually cant put it down.
Malobb
Hone and sharpen your skills with this book on leadership.
Stella
My Instructor selected this book as our textbook.
Jazzy4u

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jazzy4u on July 20, 2010
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I just recently completed an Ethical Leadership class..My Instructor selected this book as our textbook. I can honestly say that he could not have chosen a better book. This book really allows you to understand Ethics and Ethical Leadership. It also forced me to take an honest assessment of myself as well. When I say "honest assessment", I'm merely saying it enabled me to see if I was operating ethically in all levels of my life. I must admit there is room for improvement, which I am currently working on.

Excellent book...I refuse to sell this one, I will hold on to as a reference/guide.

Thank you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Beseler on February 11, 2010
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The author isn't afraid to discuss contreversial issues - religion, evil - and calls it like it is. Easy to follow the thought process and excellent examples that are current. Used as a text in Professional and Organizational Ethics. A good read. We also used his movie review idea.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Malobb on September 26, 2010
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Fantastic book, I actually cant put it down. The auther does a wonderful job with real life, current examples and writes at an understanding level
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By Elissa on February 8, 2014
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I bought this for a criminal justice class, but I think this is an amazing read for anyone who is interested in social studies, philosophy, psychology, or any subject for that matter. It is interesting, uses loads of real world examples, and keep you very interested. I wont be selling this book after I am done with the class.
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... and measured application of the principles/realities for every leader from task supervisors to the executive suite. So sad that it is so uncommon and underappreciated.
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By Stella on December 13, 2012
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Hone and sharpen your skills with this book on leadership. I enjoyed reading this for my leadership ethics class. I will be reading more of this authors material. A lot of useful insights and perspective building.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adegoke Adeleke on October 6, 2009
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Very good book on leadership and ethics though the author can be pretty extreme in some of his definitions. But i recommend this book for any one who is interested in ethics and leadership. In fact all leaders should read this book.
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The information is thought provoking and relevant regarding the issues leaders face today. Whether you are a student, instructor or someone who is interested in the leadership, the affects of current events and how to effectively guide others, this book is a must read.
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