Title

A Model of Moral Courage: A Study of Leadership for Human Rights and Democracy in Myanmar

SMC Affiliated Work

1

Status

Faculty

School

School of Economics and Business Administration

Department

Management and Entrepreneurship

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Publication Title

Journal of Civil Society

Description/Abstract

This article presents a conceptual model of moral courage based on results of an exploratory, qualitative, and cross-cultural study of the moral courage of leaders of grass roots organizations working for human rights and democracy in Myanmar. Interviews were conducted in Myanmar and Thailand with 19 participants who as leaders of primarily small, local, and non-governmental organizations regularly engaged in acts of moral courage. Consistent with a definition of moral courage based on a review of the literature on moral courage, an analysis of the interview data reveals a relationship between moral motivation and the demonstration of moral courage that is mediated by political, social, and psychological factors, as well as by activist knowledge. Demonstrations of moral courage result in both positive and negative outcomes for individuals, organizations, and society. Understanding how key elements of moral courage might lead to political and social change provides leaders of civil society organizations with a map of what is needed to stand up to oppression and effect change. By engaging their moral principles, commitment, compassion, and sense of urgency while recognizing the risks and potential hardships that they face, leaders can be empowered to stay the course and contribute to the development of civil society within a newly democratic country and a broader global context.

Keywords

Moral courage, grass roots leadership, human rights, democracy, Myanmar

Scholarly

yes

DOI

10.1080/17448689.2014.949080

Volume

11

Issue

1

First Page

1

Last Page

18

Disciplines

Business | Economics

Original Citation

White, J. (2015). “A Model of Moral Courage: A Study of Leadership for Human Rights and Democracy in Myanmar.” Journal of Civil Society 11 (1) 1-18. doi:10.1080/17448689.2014.949080

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