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The Virtues Project: an approach to developing good leaders


Newstead, T and Dawkins, S and Macklin, R and Martin, A, The Virtues Project: an approach to developing good leaders, Journal of Business Ethics ISSN 0167-4544 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 Springer Nature B.V. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Business Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10551-019-04163-2


Virtue words, such as justice, fairness, care, and integrity, frequently feature in organizational codes of conduct and theories of ethical leadership. And yet our modern organizations remain blemished by examples lacking virtue. The philosophy of virtue ethics and numerous extant theories of leadership cite virtues as essential to good leadership. But we seem to lack understanding of how to develop or embed these virtues and notions of good leadership in practice. In 2012, virtue ethicist Julia Annas pointed to a training program which she touted as a practical application of virtue ethics. The program Annas (Ethical Theory: An Anthology, Wiley, New York, 2012) identified is called The Virtues Project, and while promising, she warned that in its current state, it lacked theorizing. We address this by aligning its practical strategies to extant theory and evidence to understand what virtues it might develop and how it might facilitate good leadership. Doing so makes two key contributions. First, it lends credence to The Virtues Projectís potential as a leadership development program. Second, it provides a means of applying theories of good leadership in practice. Our overarching objective is to advance The Virtues Project as a means of incorporating virtues into workplace dynamics and embedding virtues in the practice of organizational leadership.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:virtue, virtue ethics, leadership, leadership development
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Applied ethics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Business ethics
UTAS Author:Newstead, T (Dr Toby Newstead)
UTAS Author:Dawkins, S (Dr Sarah Dawkins)
UTAS Author:Macklin, R (Dr Rob Macklin)
UTAS Author:Martin, A (Professor Angela Martin)
ID Code:132139
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2019-04-23
Last Modified:2020-07-29
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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