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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1/4, 2009

Jay R. Tombaugh, Elaine F. Tombaugh
Pages 95-119

Can Spiritual Leadership Lead Us Not Into Temptation?

This paper offers clarity regarding the convergence of two important issues in today’s business environment. First is the growing concern over ethical failures of leadership. The obsessive self-interest and egoistic concern for personal gain exhibited by some corporate executives is particularly difficult to understand and overcome. Second is the growing realization that business must embrace the broad concept of personal spirituality. Moral reflection and choice are at the core of ethical leadership, and spiritual and moral development are interdependent. Personal spirituality impacts the leader’s moral stability by contributing to strength of character, reducing egoistic needs, providing means and motivation for true moral choices and actions, and creating a strong moral identity. Current theory and research on spiritual leadership fails to adequately portray the pivotal role of the leader’s personal spiritual transformation and sense of spirituality in ethical decision-making.

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