Responsible Leadership in the Manager-Employee Relationship
Lämsä, A.-M., & Keränen, A. (2020). Responsible Leadership in the Manager-Employee Relationship. South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases, 9(3), 422-432. https://doi.org/10.1177/2277977920958543
Published inSouth Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases
DisciplineJohtaminenBasic or discovery scholarshipManagement and LeadershipBasic or discovery scholarship
© 2020 Birla Institute of Management Technology
Research questions:The aim of this study is to explore and conceptualize responsible leadership. The topic is viewed from the viewpoint of the dyadic level between managers and employees. The following research questions are answered: What principles do managers and employees perceive as being significant for responsible leadership in the manager–employee relationship? What social contexts in the relationship call for the principles to occur? To whom do the parties place responsibility for the advancement of the principles?Theory:The study draws on relational leadership theory as well as literature on responsible leadership. Responsible leadership is understood as a dynamic and contextual process of social construction through relationships between managers and employees rooted in principles, which guide the parties’ actions.Type of the case:An explorative case study strategy was adopted. Two executive MBA groups are the cases through which the research phenomenon, responsible leadership, is explored. The data consists of a sample of 22 participants in the groups. Content analysis was used to analyse the data.Basis of the case:The participants in the executive MBA groups offer real-life data from which the results can be built. The participants represent professionals who have a broad and versatile perspective to leadership issues from the viewpoint of employee and manager. In general, an executive MBA programme advances its participants’ competency to reflect and analyse leadership topics.Findings:Conceptualization that shows the principles of responsibility in leadership—fairness, empowerment, openness, trust and caring—and their contextual and dynamic nature in the manager–employee relationship was formed.Discussions:This case study implies that exercising responsible leadership is produced differently in different social contexts: in some contexts the manager is expected to take the lead and be in charge, while at other times it is expected that practising responsible leadership principles will be shared between partners. A limitation is that this study explored its topic only at the dyadic level between manager and employee. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Strategic research programmes, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis research was part of by programme Equality in Society (WeAll project no. 292 883) by rategic research funding of the Academy of Finland
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