Leadership and responsibility for HEC graduates[Research paper] by Julien Lacaze


HEC 2009, majeure Alternative management

CEO” and “responsibility” are terms which are in vogue, but which the public at large tend to consider as antithetic. This work is not meant to stand on either side of this debate, but rather to build one (or more) picture(s) of what a “responsible company CEO” would look like. His relationship to time, others, ethics and morals and environment are four various assumptions that are put to the test in a survey on a population of HEC graduates at different times of their careers. But far from solving the research question, this inquiry (showing a real interest for this issue) uncovers a range of wider perspectives, such as the CEO's role in our current society. It also raises the question of individual and collective responsibilities, but above all a question that is too often reflected today: the question of ends. What is and should be the goal of a company? Is capitalism moral? Is this economic system sustainable in the long run, or suited to tackle such capital issues as climate change, demographic exponential growth or north-south inequalities? The question of ends is all the more pressing as those far-reaching issues, whose timeframe is being estimated just now, imply a wide panoply of different players, both public and private. What role do companies and their CEOs have to play in all this? This work shows how difficult it is to get a good comprehension of the notion of responsibility in a business context; far from providing any final judgment, this thesis is essentially meant to be feed for thought...

Quote article  Julien Lacaze, « Leadership and responsibility for HEC graduates », 21 december 2009, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Research paper]

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