‘Ethical Leadership: an oxymoron?'a lecture with Professor Ann Cunliffe
The final public lecture of 2016 featured Professor of Organisation Studies and 50th Anniversary Chair at the University of Bradford, Ann Cunliffe. Entitled ‘Ethical Leadership: an oxymoron?’ Ann began the lecture by stating she did not believe it is an oxymoron but there are factors that influence the increasing number of leadership scandals. These include the focus on heroic and individualized theories of leadership, the focus of many Business Schools on teaching rational and morally-neutral techniques, and a utilitarian view of people. She commented on the importance of thinking about what it means to be an ethical leader and to consider the role of organizations in society. Ann also offered a form of ethics - relational integrity - that involves treating people as human beings and underpins morally informed judgements.
She concluded by discussing what leadership education could look like and places philosophy at the heart of ethical leadership learning.
The lecture generated lively questions and an engaging debate with the audience, which consisted of local entrepreneurs, business leaders, staff, students and local community members. To close the University’s 50th anniversary programme of events with a lecture by a 50th Anniversary Chair was a fitting end to a year of learning, reflection and celebration.
The next lecture will take place on with Professor Diana Anderson discussing ‘The hidden secrets of our blood: a test for cancer and congenital defects’ on Wednesday 8 February. Further information about this event can be found here