Anglia Ruskin University
Business and Society Review - 2023 - Boddy.pdf (1.12 MB)

Moving sustainability towards flourishing for all: The critical role of (toxic) leadership

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-06, 09:30 authored by Clive R Boddy
Moving sustainability towards flourishing for all implies a care for all and for the future. However, in this commentary I note that many corporate and political leaders do not care for others or the future because, embodying egotistical, ruthless, remorseless, and dishonest (psychopathic) characteristics, their concern is only for themselves. This commentary argues that toxic leadership and governance, in the form of corporate psychopathy and corporate psychopaths, are important barriers to achieving sustainability. Notably, and of relevance to this argument, the embodiment of psychopathic traits can give people the ability to brazenly push themselves to the top, unimpeded by emotional distractions and thereby attain leadership. However, due to their deep indifference to corporate social responsibility and a readiness to falsify environmental impact reports, engage in faking corporate social responsibility and illegally dump toxic waste materials; the influence of such psychopathic leadership may be detrimental to sustainability and to flourishing for all. Leaders high in psychopathy will ignore or dismiss scientific evidence of unsustainable practices because they do not care about the future or about dismissing scientific evidence of detriments to the prospects for humanity. Accordingly toxic leadership and governance are arguably the critical factors in achieving a flourishing sustainability. The future of all life thus depends on who we choose as our leaders.



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Business and Society Review





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  • Published version


  • eng

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Journal Article

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  • School of Management Outputs