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

  • Maxim Egorov
  • Armin Pircher Verdorfer
  • Claudia Peus
Original Paper


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.


Ethically-oriented leader development Moral intuition Ethical competence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxim Egorov
    • 1
  • Armin Pircher Verdorfer
    • 1
  • Claudia Peus
    • 1
  1. 1.TUM School of ManagementTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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