Barnard on conflicts of responsibility

Milorad M. Novicevic (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Walter Davis (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Fred Dorn (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
M. Ronald Buckley (University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)
Jo Ann Brown (Radford University, Radford, Virginia, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this paper is to reacquaint researchers and practitioners with Barnard's contributions to understanding of the moral conditions that underlie the authenticity of organizational leadership.


The paper identifies Barnard's insights on leadership and uses them as inputs to theorizing about authentic leadership.


As an outcome of theorizing, the paper identifies the conditions that are likely to lead to inauthentic, pseudo‐authentic or authentic leader behavior.

Research limitations/implications

Examining authentic leadership from a historical perspective can open promising avenues for future research.

Practical implications

Leadership development programs should incorporate concepts of responsibility and conflicts of responsibility in order to provide executives with the knowledge base required for ethical decision making.


By placing contemporary discussion of authentic leadership in its proper historical context, scholars can draw on a wealth of existing theory to advance the study of authentic leadership.



Novicevic, M., Davis, W., Dorn, F., Buckley, M. and Brown, J. (2005), "Barnard on conflicts of responsibility", Management Decision, Vol. 43 No. 10, pp. 1396-1409.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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