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Taming the Emotional Dog: Moral Intuition and Ethically-Oriented Leader Development

Abstract

Traditional approaches describe ethical decision-making of leaders as driven by conscious deliberation and analysis. Accordingly, existing approaches of ethically-oriented leader development usually focus on the promotion of deliberative ethical decision-making, based on normative knowledge and moral reasoning. Yet, a continually growing body of research indicates that a considerable part of moral functions involved in ethical decision-making is automatic and intuitive. In this article, we discuss the implications of this moral intuition approach for the domain of ethically-oriented leader development. Specifically, we introduce a conceptual model and develop a set of theoretical propositions, suggesting that the moral intuition perspective significantly contributes to effective ethically-oriented leader development. The discussion examines theoretical implications and practical applications of the presented propositions and outlines directions for future research.

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Correspondence to Maxim Egorov.

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Egorov, M., Pircher Verdorfer, A. & Peus, C. Taming the Emotional Dog: Moral Intuition and Ethically-Oriented Leader Development. J Bus Ethics 160, 817–834 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3876-4

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Keywords

  • Ethically-oriented leader development
  • Moral intuition
  • Ethical competence