Molly Ehlinger Brennan, MNA
Empathetic Reasoning: A leadership competency to facilitate the sharing economy's function as a social innovation to reduce social inequity
This paper will explore and define the concept of empathetic reasoning and its applicability as a competency to be taught in the context of graduate level management sustainability education. A literary review integrating theories and applications of sustainability management education, ethical decision-making, and empathy as an emotional navigation system to create sustainable organizational solutions will be included. The concept of empathetic reasoning will then be used to identify the value-based leadership in organizations that would be necessary to make the sharing economy truly innovative and “sharing” in its service to the workers it employs, as well as its customers, rather than just another tool where founders and leaders are able to exploit the labor of contract workers. This paper will include a social analysis of the demographics of the populations of both the workers and customers. It will provide results identifying whether there is a reflection of existing social inequities and if the structure and function of sharing economy organizations are serving the function of either breaking down these barriers or simply reproducing and exploiting them. The competency of empathetic reasoning will be discussed as both a tool and ability that can promote true social innovation within the context of the sharing economy as well as that of other organizations and should thus be taught in graduate level management education as a means of creating a sustainable world.