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Moral courage involves taking principled but unpopular positions. Leaders often encounter situations in which they must speak out or act for what is right, even at personal risk of criticism, reprisal, ostracism, and even dismissal. While there are numerous individual and institutional barriers to acting with courage, leaders also have the power to create organizational cultures that promote integrity through transparent values, clear communications, courageous followership, and groupthink prevention. Leaders must also build their own capacities for courage by understanding the barriers to courage, identifying supports and role models, and cultivating the ability to broach difficult conversations.
KeywordsEthics Integrity Accountability Moral distress Moral courage Groupthink Followership Organizational culture Appreciative inquiry Risk management
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