Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 98, Supplement 1, pp 85-100

First online:

Responsible Leadership Helps Retain Talent in India

  • Jonathan P. DohAffiliated withCenter for Global Leadership, Villanova School of Business, Villanova University Email author 
  • , Stephen A. StumpfAffiliated withVillanova School of Business, Villanova University
  • , Walter G. TymonJr.Affiliated withVillanova School of Business, Villanova University

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The role of responsible leadership—for each leader and as part of a leader’s collective actions—is essential to global competitive success (Doh and Stumpf, Handbook on responsible leadership and governance in global business, 2005; Maak and Pless, Responsible leadership, 2006a. Failures in leadership have stimulated interest in understanding “responsible leadership” by researchers and practitioners. Research on responsible leadership draws on stakeholder theory, with employees viewed as a primary stakeholder for the responsible organization (Donaldson and Preston, Acad Manag Rev 20(1):65–91, 1995; Freeman, Strategic management: a stakeholder approach, 1984; Mitchell et al., Acad Manag Rev 22:853–886, 1997; Phillips and Freeman, Stakeholder theory and organizational ethics, 2003. We define and operationalize responsible leadership from the perspective of employees and their views of the actions of their leaders. Drawing on a comprehensive survey of 28 Indian and global organizations operating in India, we report the results from 4,352 employees on the relationship between responsible leadership, their pride in and satisfaction with their organization, and retention 1 year later. Strong associations were found among these variables suggesting that responsible leadership—employee perceptions of the support they receive from managers, the HR practices, and corporate socially responsible actions—may be an overarching construct that connects them to the organization.


Responsible leadership Pride in the organization Satisfaction with the organization Social responsibility Stakeholder culture Employee retention Turnover