Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Seminar - A framework for the ethical evaluation of leadership.

This is an event in the Corporate Social Responsibility series taking place at Leeds University Business School on Thursday 7 December 2018

Dr Jamie Dow, lecturer and principal investigator of the 'Leading Minds' research project, will be delivering the second presentation in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 2017/18 seminar series.

This seminar is focused on the presentation and discussion of a proposed framework for the ethical evaluation of leadership.

It is increasingly recognised that it is important to consider not just how “effective” leaders are in achieving a given set of goals, but how ethical the means are by which they secure whatever accomplishments they do. Work on this area to date is piecemeal and over-reliant on dubious heuristics and on the misguided attempt to answer normative questions by wholly empirical methods.

The current proposal aims to offer something more systematic and robust, by providing a framework for the ethical evaluation of leadership. The framework presupposes a broad-based definition of leadership as influence, and focuses on persuasive leadership in particular. The framework has three key elements:

(1) a distinctive view of the goal of ethical persuasive influence – that people be persuaded by correctly recognising the force of good reasons

(2) a distinctive account of the means of ethical persuasion – those things that provide good reasons to listeners

(3) the importance of cultivating conditions favourable to critical followership, i.e. critical ‘uptake’ of ethical persuasive influence.

The plausibility of the framework will be canvassed through illustrating how it would apply to the leadership of major organisational change, and by indicating the breadth of informal, emotional, personal, and artistic methods of good leadership that it has the resources to recognise.

For further information, please contact the Research Office at

About the speaker

Dr Jamie Dow

Dr Jamie Dow is principal investigator of the 'Leading Minds' research project in Ancient Philosophy and Contemporary Leadership Ethics, based at the IDEA Centre. 

His research is mainly in Ancient Philosophy, but also extends into related areas in Applied Ethics, particularly those related to the ethics of leadership and influence. His undergraduate teaching includes an innovative Discovery Module in Leadership Ethics, and beyond that is mainly in Business, Computing, Media and Environmental Ethics. At postgraduate level, he is involved in PhD supervision, and he teaches on the Centre's MA in Biomedical and Health Care Ethics (online and campus) and online MA in Applied and Professional Ethics (online), and on Masters programmes in the Business School. 

Prior to coming to Leeds, he studied for his doctorate at the University of St Andrews, following an MPhil in Philosophy at King's College London. Before that, he worked in business, in production and purchasing management with Courtaulds Textiles, and then as a management consultant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. 

Selected publications: 

  • Passions and Persuasion in Aristotle's Rhetoric, Oxford Aristotle Studies Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • "Ethics of Advertising", in LaFollette, Hugh (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics, (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)