Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 123, Issue 1, pp 99–111 | Cite as

Leadership, Pragmatism and Grace: A Review



Leadership takes a central role in the public affairs agenda. This article is a review of published works on leadership focusing on the concept of grace. It discusses the role of compassion and kindness in current leadership theory and practice and whether these attributes have value in sustainable models. Findings indicate that there is conceptual confusion regarding the definition of compassion and its application in leadership practices. Kindness is not discussed within the concept of compassion and kindness itself may be viewed as a weakness in contemporary self-selected leadership characteristics. The conclusions suggest there is disconnect between contemporary models of leadership and calls for sustainable ethical leadership in the spheres of public and business environments. Compassion and kindness remain in the side-lines yet the implications for future trust and commitment are neglected in times where discretionary effort of workers and volunteers is crucial to goal achievement.


Leadership Pragmatism Grace Compassion Kindness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business, Enterprise and Life-long LearningUniversity of ChesterChesterUK

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