Honour as the (New) Foundational Virtue for Responsible Leadership in the Banking Sector: A Theoretico-Conceptual Analysis

  • Johan BouwerEmail author
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 51)


This article deals with the question whether the widely accepted integrity can still be seen as the foundational virtue for responsible leadership within the banking sector. This question emerged in the face of the recent public and political outrage concerning an increase in the salaries of the members of the executive board of the ABN AMRO bank in the Netherlands, while apparently there was no breach of integrity. A theoretical/conceptual analysis of the core concepts in this article: responsible leadership (the key factor in sound and virtuous banking), integrity (the current foundational virtue banks act upon) and honour (a virtue related to integrity, but which encompasses it) has been made in order to find an explanation for the public outrage. It is concluded that the virtue of honour – as a foundational virtue – offers a more solid base than integrity in the banking sector, because honour is fundamentally closer related to the public’s ideals, concerns and values, and ascribed virtues to responsible leadership than integrity. It is therefore argued that honour should replace integrity as foundational virtue for responsible leadership in the banking sector.


Responsible leadership Integrity Honour Banking sector 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NHTV Breda International University of Applied SciencesBredaNetherlands

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