This book chapter contributes to the emerging discussion on responsible leadership and the role of women leaders. The case of Dame Anita Roddick is analyzed in light of the Roles Model of Responsible Leadership (Maak & Pless, 2006) and serves as a best-practice example of how to run a successful business while at the same time helping to tackle deep-seated social problems. After discussing gender and paradigmatic aspects of leadership the author concludes that we need a paradigm change towards a new model of leadership that takes social responsibility seriously and fosters the integration and development of "female" leadership principles. The analysis of Anita Roddicks's leadership in light of this framework results in a picture of a woman and role model for leading business responsibly in a global stakeholder society. After having analyzed her leadership behavior I discuss the relationship between responsible leadership and the female archetype of leadership. I show that there are indeed striking parallels between the two concepts and argue that responsible leadership requires qualities that are defined as being female (e.g. caring for others). Yet, I also argue that the female archetype is first and foremost a social construction of gender relations and that the qualities of a female archetype are by no means restricted to women, but can also be developed and applied by men. I conclude that we need a paradigm change towards a new model of leadership that takes social responsibility seriously and fosters the application and development of "female" leadership principles.

ESADE

Back to home

Pless, Nicola

Women leading a responsible global business: A study of dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop

2011
This book chapter contributes to the emerging discussion on responsible leadership and the role of women leaders. The case of Dame Anita Roddick is analyzed in light of the Roles Model of Responsible Leadership (Maak & Pless, 2006) and serves as a best-practice example of how to run a successful business while at the same time helping to tackle deep-seated social problems. After discussing gender and paradigmatic aspects of leadership the author concludes that we need a paradigm change towards a new model of leadership that takes social responsibility seriously and fosters the integration and development of "female" leadership principles. The analysis of Anita Roddicks's leadership in light of this framework results in a picture of a woman and role model for leading business responsibly in a global stakeholder society. After having analyzed her leadership behavior I discuss the relationship between responsible leadership and the female archetype of leadership. I show that there are indeed striking parallels between the two concepts and argue that responsible leadership requires qualities that are defined as being female (e.g. caring for others). Yet, I also argue that the female archetype is first and foremost a social construction of gender relations and that the qualities of a female archetype are by no means restricted to women, but can also be developed and applied by men. I conclude that we need a paradigm change towards a new model of leadership that takes social responsibility seriously and fosters the application and development of "female" leadership principles.
More Knowledge
Women leading a responsible global business: A study of dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop
Pless, Nicola
In Leadership, gender and organisation
Berln (Germany): Springer, 2011
p. 245 - 258
Issues in business ethics; ; n 27

Related publications

Back to home