Research Handbook of Responsible Management
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Research Handbook of Responsible Management

Edited by Oliver Laasch, Roy Suddaby, R. E. Freeman and Dima Jamali

Outlining origins of the field and latest research trends, this Research Handbook offers a unique and cutting-edge take on the numerous avenues to responsible management in the 21st century. Renowned contributors present iconic viewpoints that have formed the foundation of responsible management research, introducing cutting-edge conceptual lenses for the study of the responsible management process.
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Chapter 28: The emerging logic of responsible management: institutional pluralism, leadership, and strategizing

Nevena Radoynovska, William Ocasio and Oliver Laasch

Abstract

The chapter outlines the relevance of an institutional logics, pluralism, and leadership perspective on responsible management. The responsibility of corporate managers has been interpreted, to a large extent and for a long time, as giving primacy to the financial interests of shareholders. Yet, the growing emphasis on responsible management invites a redefinition of the fundamental role of leaders and managers in bringing about and sustaining responsible management. To the extent that responsible management (RM) implies attending to the demands of diverse stakeholders with multiple and potentially competing interests (e.g. shareholders, managers, employees, communities, the environment, etc.), we can think of the latter as fundamentally connected to the practices, values, and assumptions that guide and constrain their behavior – that is, institutional logics. The co-existence of multiple logics within RM – including those of the market, corporation, professions, and the community, along with a transversal focus on sustainability – suggests that organizations that strive to manage responsibly operate in environments of institutional pluralism. By considering the implications of an emerging logic of responsible management, an institutional pluralism perspective can facilitate a rethinking of the role of managers in society. We argue that corporations play a key role in achieving RM, and that leaders and managers within such corporations are essential figures in managing responsibly for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development. In fact, managers must be true institutional leaders along technical, political, and cultural dimensions. A pluralistic perspective on RM also requires rethinking the role of managers and leaders as pertains to core elements of organizational strategy (business models, governance, and non-market strategy).

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