Politics, Ethics and Change


Politics, Ethics and Change

The Legacy of James MacGregor Burns

9781785368929 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by George R. Goethals, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies, University of Richmond and Douglas Bradburn, Founding Director, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, US
Publication Date: 2016 ISBN: 978 1 78536 892 9 Extent: 208 pp
The impact of James MacGregor Burns’ writings on our understanding of moral and lasting change is explored through essays focussing on transforming leadership in contexts such as the founding of the American nation and presidential leadership throughout US history. Burns’s most influential concepts are explained, critiqued and expanded and then applied in political, business and institutional domains. The volume demonstrates how Burns’s analyses illuminate the nature of social change and transformation, the subtleties of the relationship between leaders and followers, and how together both can realize enduring human values using power resources that arouse and satisfy deep human motives.

Copyright & permissions

Recommend to librarian

Your Details

Privacy Policy

Librarian Details

Download leaflet

Print page

More Information
Critical Acclaim
More Information
For decades, the writings of James MacGregor Burns have defined the central issues in our understanding of leadership. Their impact is illustrated here through ten chapters exploring Burns’s research on presidential leadership and related issues of moral and effective leadership, the nature of social change and transformation, and the subtleties of the relationships between leaders and followers. 

Exploring history through the dynamics of leadership, this extraordinary volume outlines the dynamics of social change and transformation and illustrates how leaders shape followers’ motivations. The transactional and transforming leadership of various US presidents is considered within broader questions of personal ethics, conflict and compromise, and historical contingency. The presidencies of Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson in particular transformed American society and American politics. The chapters in this book explore the several ways they fought for enduring human values using power resources that aroused and satisfied deep human motives and tested the limits of leadership effectiveness and morality. 

Students of leadership, the US Presidency, the American Founding, and history in general will find this book enlightening. Scholars and leaders in business, psychology and philosophy will also find much of value given James MacGregor Burns’s insightful analysis across a wide field of disciplines.
Critical Acclaim
‘Politics, Ethics, and Change: The Legacy of James MacGregor Burns is very easy to read and comprehend. The book would be an excellent teaching tool for any college or university course which studies leadership. Professors and students in the areas of political science as well as ethics may also find the book to be beneficial, particularly concerning contemporary issues within the political arena. In addition, anyone who is currently in a leadership position may find the book’s insights to be very useful. Politics, Ethics, and Change: The Legacy of James MacGregor Burns is not only an excellent resource to begin understanding James MacGregor Burns’ views on leadership, especially transformational leadership, but also a resource for established academics and those involved in leadership positions.’
– Charles Ray Rowland, International Social Science Review

‘This is an excellent collection that critically engages with the tremendous legacy of an outstanding leadership scholar. The editors have brought together world-class writers from various disciplinary backgrounds, all of whom knew Jim Burns personally and have been significantly influenced by his ideas. The result is a volume that provides a definitive statement on Burns’s key ideas on politics, ethics and change. I thoroughly recommend this text to anyone interested in the potential of leadership to transform relationships, organizations and societies. It is a fitting testament and a must-read.’
– David Collinson, Lancaster University Management School, UK

‘James MacGregor Burns was a giant in the study of leadership, and his influence on the study of leadership endures. This volume includes contributions by a number of scholars, each of whom was inspired by Burns’s seminal work, but also worked directly or indirectly with Jim on the study of leadership. This book expands on the work of Burns, gives us insight into his creative genius, and moves the study of leadership significantly forward.’
– Ronald E. Riggio, Claremont McKenna College, US
Contributors: S.T. Allison, D. Bradburn, J.B. Ciulla, R.A. Couto, T.E. Cronin, G.R. Goethals, G.R. Hickman, E.J. Larso, G. Sorenson, P. Spero

Foreword. Joseph J. Ellis

George R. Goethals and Douglas Bradburn

George R. Goethals

Part I. James MacGregor Burns and the Essentials of Leadership
1. Discovering Leadership in the Early Republic,
Patrick Spero

2. Leadership without Leaders, Followers, or Causality: Tribute and Tribulation for the Intellectual Legacy of James MacGregor Burns
Richard A. Couto

3. Real, Intended Change: Business Movements?
Gill Robinson Hickman

4. Transforming Motives and Mentors: The Heroic Leadership of James MacGregor Burns
George R. Goethals and Scott T. Allison

5. Dangerous Liaisons: Adultery and the Ethics of Presidential Leadership
Joanne B. Ciulla

Part II. James MacGregor Burns and American Leadership
6. “A People Unused to Restraint Must be Led, They Will not be Drove:” The Rebels and Their Leaders in the American Revolution
Douglas Bradburn

7. James MacGregor Burns and the American Presidency
Thomas E. Cronin

8. Transactional Leadership in a Transformative Election: An Essay in Honor of James MacGregor Burns
Edward J. Larson

9. James MacGregor Burns’s Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox and the Election of 1940
Susan Dunn

10. Theory and Practice: James MacGregor Burns
Georgia Sorenson

Jim Burns, Thomas E. Cronin


eBook for individuals
978 1 78536 893 6
From $40.00
Click here for options
eBook for library purchase
978 1 78536 893 6
View sample chapter and check access on:
eBook options

Available for individuals to buy from these websites

Or recommend to your institution to acquire on Elgaronline
  • Buy as part of an eBook subject collection - flexible options available
  • Downloading and printing allowed
  • No limits on concurrent user access, ideal for course use
My Cart