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In this chapter, I ask two interrelated questions. First, how do leaders judge what is a responsible course of action? Second, and relatedly, how do others judge what constitutes responsibility in leadership action? The core argument I put forward is that thinking with Hannah Arendt deepens our comprehension of what it might mean to lead responsibly. She encourages us to recognize that leading in a responsible manner is, above all, a judgment call. From an Arendtian perspective, to judge responsibly entails taking the time to reflect upon a decision so as to weigh up the different sides of an argument. Thus, a measured response requires a willingness to approach an issue from multiple perspectives, and to engage in the kind of reflective thinking that Donna Ladkin (2010) argues is critical to leadership.

Citation of this paper:

Gardiner, R. (April, 2020). How do leaders judge what is a responsible course of action? (pp. 125-138). In Ladkin, D., (Ed.), Rethinking leadership, 2nd edition. Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.