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Leadership and values today. Three approaches

12/12/2017 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Barcelona

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Ŕngel Castińeira (ADE 95): Leadership and values today. Three approaches


Refresher Programme talk about values and leadership by Ángel Castiñeira

As part of its Refresher Programme series, ESADE Alumni held a talk entitled “Leadership and values today: three approaches” by Professor Ángel Castiñeira (ADE 95) of ESADE’s social science department.

“There are new ways of thinking about the company and its management and leadership both inside and outside the company,” said ESADE professor Ángel Castiñeira. He believes that the economic crisis of recent years has shown that traditional standards are no longer effective. In response, he has developed three new approaches.

Firstly, he explained that the globalisation that emerged after the Cold War blocs disappeared had a terrific impact on companies. Multinationals were transformed into transnationals with an even greater scope of action. At the same time, there was a crisis in human rights, especially children’s rights, in countries characterised by cheap labour.

In the nineties, companies were held to account for their impact on the world. According to Castiñeira, “a shift occurred and companies began to be seen as entities with social responsibilities.” The United Nations drafted 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) which define how to respect the environment with a role shared by states and tremendous leadership by companies which become international agents. In 2016, what is known as the Paris Agreement was signed by states to reduce global warming.

“Similarly, as digitisation developed, companies became able to contribute to the UN goals. This is not a duty but an improvement of companies’ competitive space: a responsibility that creates new opportunities,” said Professor Castiñeira in his belief that companies can improve thanks to these SDGs. “You can do good by doing things well. This is the goal of responsible, sustainable leadership.”

Until now, companies had to be clear about their purpose, mission, aspirations, vision and, finally, values. As a result of the UN goals and corporate social responsibility, however, dialogue with stakeholders has been added to the list, with a view to defining what the world expects from companies, and also the culture of organisations.

The second approach focuses on corporate management. Castiñeira feels that management must focus on its staff so that “they feel committed and involved in the company. To do so, it must make a positive impact on people.”
The industrial revolution triggered a management model based on direct, top-down orders. Strategic objectives were then broken down over the hierarchy, and specific goals were earmarked for each level with management by objectives. The environmental impact of business has given rise to management by values in recent years. “We are talking about managers who trigger a process of cultural transformation and organisational change by relativising individual achievements and emphasising the common purposes that contribute to the reappraisal of an individual’s worth in order to enter a new stage with exciting projects that entail alienated and humanizing tasks intended for people committed to the company,” explained the professor.

Finally, the third approach concerns a form of leadership offering active inspiration. This value leadership combines the best of ethics, values and effectiveness, and involves people, their learning, their willingness to serve and their integrity and model behaviour. Meeting the year’s targets is just one part of a company’s aims; another part is the ability to foresee change. The fact that a change does not affect us today, does not mean that it will not affect us tomorrow.
As Ángel Castiñeira said, “leaders can not be models unless they have model behaviour” therefore leaders must be a model for their circle of influence based on their own personal efficiency and their expert efficiency at work.

ESADE Alumni invites you to ''Leadership and values today. Three approaches'', a talk in the Refresher Programme series by Angel Castiñeira (ADE 95), professor in ESADE’s Department of Social Sciences.

This talk will provide a threefold approach to the gradual incorporation of values into our organizations. This is in response to three updated and complementary perspectives that are gradually making headway in both executive education at ESADE and in real life: a new concept of the company, a new concept of leadership and a new concept of leadership. We believe that these three approaches obviously converge in the crucial role of values in the coming years.




Àngel Castiñeira Fernández

Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences in ESADE
URL Associate Professor
Director, Chair in LeadershipS and Democratic Governance, Cátedra Liderazgos y Gobernanza Democrática


Doctor en Filosofía y Ciencias de la Educación. Universitat de Barcelona
Licenciado en Filosofía y Ciencias de la Educación. Universitat de Barcelona

Areas of interest

Social and political philosophy (theories of justice and Welfare State, multiculturalism, nationalism, contemporary political ideologies)
Geopolitical thought
Applied ethics and values
Changes in the social and cultural environment
Leadership and democratic governance


Director, Department of Social Sciences, ESADE-URL (2005-2014).
Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, ESADE-URL (since 1993). Director, Centre for Studies on Contemporary Issues (Generalitat de Catalunya, 1998-2004).
Professor in Contemporary Philosophy, Universitat Ramon Llull (1990-1994). Director of the 'Contemporary Issues' collection, by the publisher Proa (1994-2004). Director of 'IDEES, Revista de Temes Contemporanis' (1999-2004). Head of Higher Secondary Education Philosophy Department (1981-1989).

His teaching activity at ESADE covered the period from 1993 since 2016. He specialized in these fields:

- Social philosophy and analysis of the environment.
- Political philosophy (geopolitical thought, theories of justice, politics and government; multiculturalism and immigration; nationalism and federalism, civil society, the Welfare State and social capital; contemporary ideological trends).
- Applied ethics (aspects related to corporate ethics and work with values within organizations, and the relations between values and leadership).

I joined ESADE in 1993.


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