The Case for Behavioral Professionalism in Leadership

  • C. Ken WeidnerII


It is neither appropriate nor practical for leadership/management to become a profession. In this chapter I distinguish between professionalization of a field, for which institutions restrict access to practice, and behavioral professionalism , for which the responsibility is within the individual (Weidner and Kulick, “The Professionalization of Organization Development: A Status Report and Look to the Future.” In Research in Organization Change and Development . Stamford, CT: JAI Press, 1999; Maister, True Professionalism: The Courage to Care About Your Clients, Your People, and Your Career. New York: Free Press, 1997 ). While many occupations have made the successful transition to becoming a profession, leadership/management is not a distinct occupation. Although leadership may meet the threshold of criticality necessary to be considered a profession, mistaking the field as a profession-in-waiting disregards the wide diffusion of leaders in an array of formal and informal organizations. In such dissimilar settings, all individuals can practice and attain behavioral professionalism; individuals in formal leadership positions can strive to make behavioral professionalism normative within their organizations.


Behavioral professionalism Professionalism Leadership Management Professions 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Ken WeidnerII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementSaint Joseph’s UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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