Competitiveness demonstrates a firm’s effectiveness in achieving an advantage over others. A leader’s competitiveness can facilitate higher profits and growth. It can also lead to unethical and irresponsible corporate dealings. This paper suggests competitiveness can be responsible.
Responsible Leadership defines two main responsible leaders (RL), integrative and instrumental. Integrators are linked to social responsibility and multiple stakeholders, while Instrumentalists are associated with competitive advantage and shareholders. Missing from extant research frameworks is how the two RLs experience competitiveness.
We examined the lived experience of a group of Top 100 Leaders in Canada, finding that both RLs practiced responsible competitiveness. A more nuanced group, they shared characteristics and personal values that seemed to curb the overreach or hyper-competitiveness associated with irresponsibility.