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Leadership amid the constraints of trust

Matthew R. Fairholm (The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
Gil Fairholm (Hampden‐Sydney College, Farmville, Virginia, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 March 2000



The leader’s role is a two‐fold cultural and teaching enterprise: institutionalizing cultural principles in their organizations and then teaching followers to internalize these cultural principles in their actions. The specific features of an organization’s culture condition what leaders do and how they do it. However, leaders also condition the culture by their actions and beliefs. Seen this way, a leader’s primary activity is to create a culture supportive of desired values. As followers internalize these cultural values, they develop a devotion to the institution that cannot come in any other way. This both requires trust and encourages trust. The task is not simple; it is fraught with difficulty, pitfalls, and barriers. This article explains some constraints that hinder the development of a culture based on trust specifically and the enterprise of leadership in general.



Fairholm, M.R. and Fairholm, G. (2000), "Leadership amid the constraints of trust", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 102-109.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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