Leader Authenticity and Ethics: A Heideggerian Perspective

Florence Villeséche, Anders Klitmøller*, Cathrine Bjørnholt Michaelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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In the shadow of various business scandals and societal crises, scholars and practitioners have developed a growing interest in authentic leadership. This approach to leadership assumes that leaders may access and leverage their “true selves” and “core values” and that the combination of these two elements forms the basis from which they act resolutely, lead ethically, and benefit others. Drawing on Heidegger’s work, we argue that a concern for authenticity can indeed instigate a leadership ethic, albeit one that acknowledges the unfounded openness of existence and its inherent relationality. On this basis, we propose an ethics-as-practice approach in which leaders respond to the situation at hand by being “attuned to attunement,” which cultivates an openness to otherness and a responsibility to others.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 28. November 2023.


  • Leadership ethics
  • Authenticity
  • Heidegger
  • Philosophy
  • Nonfoundational ethics
  • Resoluteness

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