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Business-in-society competence for leading responsibly in a global environment

Author: Pless, Nicola M. ; Maak, ThomasINSEAD Area: Organisational Behaviour Series: Working Paper ; 2008/22/OB Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2008.Language: EnglishDescription: 51 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: In a global stakeholder environment, corporations and their leaders are confronted with complex challenges. Leading business in society imposes new demands on leaders, extending their usual set of business responsibilities and requiring "business-in-society" competence that enables them to effectively and responsibly deal with these challenges. While there is a large body of literature on global leadership competencies, "business-in-society" competence (BiSC) has not been discussed so far. In this paper we ask what the qualities are that responsible leaders need in order to cope effectively and responsibly with the business-in-society challenges and how these competencies can be developed. We start this conceptual study with an overview of the challenges of doing business in a global environment, providing the background for developing a definition and a model of BiSC. After having discussed the model's components, we propose that there are moderating influences that can either enable or prevent leaders from effectively applying BiSC and dealing responsibly with the business-in-society challenges. We conclude the paper by discussing implications for research and leadership development.
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In a global stakeholder environment, corporations and their leaders are confronted with complex challenges. Leading business in society imposes new demands on leaders, extending their usual set of business responsibilities and requiring "business-in-society" competence that enables them to effectively and responsibly deal with these challenges. While there is a large body of literature on global leadership competencies, "business-in-society" competence (BiSC) has not been discussed so far. In this paper we ask what the qualities are that responsible leaders need in order to cope effectively and responsibly with the business-in-society challenges and how these competencies can be developed. We start this conceptual study with an overview of the challenges of doing business in a global environment, providing the background for developing a definition and a model of BiSC. After having discussed the model's components, we propose that there are moderating influences that can either enable or prevent leaders from effectively applying BiSC and dealing responsibly with the business-in-society challenges. We conclude the paper by discussing implications for research and leadership development.

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