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Teaching Ethics

Volume 18, Issue 2, Fall 2018

Deborah S. Mower
Pages 107-126

Reflections on . . . Leading x Nudging

I develop a taxonomy of various approaches to leadership which I label the ethical decision-making, managerial obligation, role typology, and creativity conceptions of leadership. Each approach makes distinctive assumptions about the task and educational responsibilities in educating for ethical leadership. Although each of these approaches are extremely valuable, I find them limited in that they all rely on what I call an agentic model. Using the concepts of choice architects and choice architecture from nudge theory, I argue for a new metaphysical model—a systems-design model—that captures the complex and interactive dynamic of a host of metaphysical entities and contextual factors. This new metaphysical model of the context of leadership and the function of leaders within it yields a theory of leadership, which I dub the ethical systems-design conception of leadership.

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