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The impact of structure and corporate ideology on leader-follower relations in the bureaucratic organization: a reflection on moral mazes

Kakavelakis, Konstantinos and Edwards, Timothy James 2021. The impact of structure and corporate ideology on leader-follower relations in the bureaucratic organization: a reflection on moral mazes. Journal of Business Ethics 10.1007/s10551-021-04919-9
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Abstract

In the wake of organizational scandals associated with corporate America servant as well as transformational leadership are seen as approaches capable of engendering a type of morality—on the part of leaders and followers—based on shared values, universal moral principles and an orientation towards a pro-social behavior serving the common good. However, recent critiques have highlighted the tendency in the relevant literature to overlook the systemic context within which leadership and followership are situated. Given this oversight this paper re-visits a classic piece of ethnography on corporate America: Robert Jackal’s Moral Mazes. Employing concepts from critical realism fused with insights from studies on management and bureaucracy we analyse the key themes from the book pertaining to the nature of the leader–follower dynamic in shareholder capitalism. The analysis highlights the role of bureaucracy and corporate ideology as key elements shaping leader–follower relationships, encouraging a type of morality associated with guarding self-interest whilst undermining relationality. The influence of the structural and cultural context in which leader–follower relations unfold draws attention to morality as relationally contingent as opposed to an ideal state.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0167-4544
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 17 August 2021
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 14:58
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/144313

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