New Chair at Victoria to spearhead research in ethical leadership

Karin Lasthuizen

This is a supplied media release.

Victoria University of Wellington has appointed Professor Karin Lasthuizen from the Netherlands to a newly established Professorial Chair.

Professor Lasthuizen starts today as the inaugural Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, which is within Victoria Business School’s School of Management.

She joins five other Professorial Chairs at the Business School who lead research on important contemporary issues in specialist areas of digital government, public finance, business in Asia, economics of disasters and restorative justice.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce Professor Bob Buckle is delighted to welcome Professor Lasthuizen to Victoria as the University’s first Chair in Ethical Leadership.

“Professor Lasthuizen is highly regarded in Europe for her research and consultancy work in responsible leadership and ethics in the public sector, as well as her innovative research in the methodology of organisational misbehaviour.

“She has held numerous senior research and policy positions, and most recently was an Associate Professor in Leadership and Ethics Management at VU University Amsterdam.

“Her appointment will significantly strengthen the Business School’s capabilities in training, researching and supporting stakeholders to strengthen ethical practices in business, government and community organisations.

“Although ethics is embedded in many of the courses taught at Victoria Business School, the establishment of this Chair has been prompted by our commitment to supporting the wider community. Research in this field will provide insight that can improve leadership and practices to improve confidence in business, inform public policy and help mitigate the risks that can lead to organisational failures.”

Professor Lasthuizen says the newly created role is “a huge opportunity” to further develop her field of expertise.

“Ethical leadership is still a largely unexplored area of research. Traditionally, much research has assumed there is a one-size-fits-all style of ethical leadership that works across all types of organisations. But latest insights, including my own research, suggest that ethical leadership is more context-dependent.

“By translating academic knowledge into practical insights, I hope that as Chair, I can help organisations enhance their organisational integrity, societal value and overall performance through ethical leaderships and ethics management.” 

Professor Lasthuizen will be supported by an Advisory Board comprising members of stakeholder organisations.

Chair of the Advisory Board, and Controller and Auditor-General, Lyn Provost says leadership has long been recognised as a way to make a difference to an organisation and its future.

“Ethical leadership adds a national and global aspect to that future. I look forward to working with Professor Lasthuizen and the advisory group.”

The Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership has been established with support from a private donor, the Gama Foundation and the Financial Markets Authority.

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