How Does Moral Leadership Conflict with Organizational Innovation

Creativity and innovation are important to leadership…right? Everyone seems to accept that general notion. But what does that really mean for the leader? The followers? The organization? The culture? How leaders and followers relate? How leadership is or should be developed? 

The Journal of Leadership Studies announces a Symposium special issue on Provoking Perspectives of Creativity and Innovation in Leadership. This special issue asks authors to consider and pose a provocative question or statement 


In the current globalized economy, a firm’s ability to react quickly to changing consumer demands and provide innovative products serves as a key driver for business success (Moon, Miller, & Kim, 2013).  To achieve this, leaders must focus on inspiring innovation to achieve competitive advantage while also balancing pressures from shareholders to meet profitability goals.  However, organizational leaders may face moral choices that can sometimes conflict with necessary business decisions as well as put them at ethical risk (Bagdasarov, Harkrider, Johnson, Mumford, & Thiel, 2012).  For example, some people might claim that moral leadership conflicts with organizational innovation because these leaders may tend to focus more on taking the ethical path rather than focusing on the achievement of innovation to enhance the company’s bottom-line.  In contrast, leaders that lack a moral compass may demonstrate a greater willingness to bend the rules to achieve company goals (Bruhn, 2009).  Given today’s business realities, the question arises as to whether moral leadership poses a conflict with organizational innovation. 

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Dr. John T. Avella, Dr. Sandra Nunn
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Journal of Leadership Studies
Date Published: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Place Published: 
Journal of Leadership Studies
Publication Language: 
ISSN Number: 
Call Number:
Tony Middlebrooks

Additional content will be provided upon request.