Culture Influencer: Timothy Ewest

Dr. Timothy Ewest, associate professor of Management in the Archie W. Dunham College of Business, has continued to develop his research on Prosocial Leadership with his recent presentation of the paper, “Ethics and the Philosophical Relationship to Leadership Theories” at the Southwest Academy of Management, held in San Antonio, Texas from March 11 – 14. The conference addressed the theme of growing “divide” between practice and academia, considering how can we truly work to close this gap and increase our engagement with the business community. Secondly, the conference sought to consider how the advances in digital information are leading to increased scrutiny of research and research quality across disciplines, outpacing our ability to monitor and adapt to them. Third, conference considered the future of work is here, including rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and the automation of the knowledge economy. How will these workplace changes impact management strategy and behavior, and how can we embrace innovation such that our scholarship and our pedagogy stay at the cutting edge? Fourth, and finally, the conference reflected on the increasing importance of inclusion in our society. Different generations (i.e., baby boomers, generation X, millennials, generation Z) are moving in and out of the workplace, each with markedly different values and perspectives. The world, and our country, is becoming more connected despite these generational disconnects – are we doing all we can to recognize, understand, and embrace the diversity of purposes, people, and pathways in higher education?
Dr. Ewest’s paper considered the history of research regarding leadership ethics. Specifically, how classical philosophical ethical theories articulate with established leadership theories, explained how ethical leadership theories predominantly use normative ethical action theory, and then resolved by suggesting how prosocial behavioral theory offers a new paradigm when considering ethical or others-directed leadership. The paper suggested that the Prosocial Behavioral Theory would be better suited in the identification of authentic others-directed behavior as opposed to ethical theories, and ultimately better suited for understanding of how prosocial leaders are developed.