Leaders and decision making: a study of the drivers of courage

  • Received August 1, 2017;
    Accepted September 23, 2017;
    Published March 20, 2018
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    Volume 16 2018, Issue #1, pp. 320-329
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    1 articles

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Interest in leadership effectiveness and failure has led scholars to investigate the underlying factors. Courage has been evoked as an essential component of character in effective leaders. Kidder and Bracy (2001) posit that courage lays the foundation for other virtues and values to emerge and develop in leaders. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to explore the drivers of courage in leaders at various decision making moments in their career and life. To this aim, a qualitative narrative analysis of sixty stories extracted from structured interviews of fourteen Mauritian leaders was carried out. The principal results indicate leadership skills are not sufficient for a leader to act courageously, and that both internal and external drivers of courage are required for courageous leadership. In addition, some of the internal drivers of courage such as Values & Beliefs and Self-Consciousness are closely linked to dimensions of authentic leadership. Therefore, organizations or leadership programs that are interested in developing and maintaining qualities of effective leadership should develop support systems that further the internal and external drivers of courage. However, because it is found to be the result of a continuous lifetime process, courage should be encouraged and integrated early in educational curriculum.

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    • Table 1. Summary of the first cycle coding
    • Table 2. The drivers of courage