English Full Article Citation


Malavika Sundararajan , Ramapo College of New Jersey, USA
Binod Sundararajan , Dalhousie University, Canada


Responsible leadership training requires development of individuals who are both knowledgeable and emotionally mature so that they can overcome personal biases to make honest and ethical decisions that have a positive social impact within and outside the organization. Current MBA class exercises use a few trait-based surveys and basic techniques to manage one’s emotions along with leadership definitions that can be misinterpreted by students to be devoid of liable behaviors. Consequently, the problem of self-misconception persists with no change in students’ reasoning about the core problem that is causing their emotionally charged decision. Hence, most students fail to sustain their emotional management processes. To address this need to recognize and correct one’s self-misconceptions to uphold emotional maturity, our specific course of action is to address it holistically based on a preexisting Upanishadic model. The primary contribution of this paper is to bring to the forefront a practical, and useable model that can provide clear steps to refine one’s habitual orientations caused by self-misconceptions. We present the causal mechanism underlying the cognitive-emotional mechanisms wherein the core constructs are Knowing, Active and Inert qualities along six behavior influencing areas which elicit three distinct groups of emotions resulting in consequent decisions. Using a short case scenario-based exercise, we put forth steps students can take to develop responsible leadership qualities. Implications in the form of less stressful and happier workplaces are briefly discussed. A new definition of leadership is presented that helps one distinguish true leadership from notorious ones. The model and the accompanying steps help MBA students develop into fair, thoughtful, knowledgeable, compassionate, and truthful leaders, who work for the benefit of the entire society.

MBA students, leadership, exercises, three qualities model, cognitive shifts, thought displacement skills, leader self-regulation, self-knowledge, virtuous qualities, vicious qualities


La capacitación en liderazgo responsable requiere el desarrollo de individuos que sean expertos y emocionalmente maduros para que puedan superar los sesgos personales y tomar decisiones honestas y éticas que tengan un impacto social positivo dentro y fuera de la organización. Los ejercicios de clase de MBA actuales utilizan algunas encuestas basadas en rasgos y técnicas básicas para controlar las emociones junto con definiciones de liderazgo que los estudiantes pueden malinterpretar como carentes de comportamientos responsables. En consecuencia, el problema del concepto erróneo de sí mismo persiste sin cambios en el razonamiento de los estudiantes sobre el problema central que está causando sus decisiones cargadas de emociones. De ahí que la mayoría de los estudiantes no logran sostener sus procesos de gestión emocional. Para abordar esta necesidad de reconocer y corregir los conceptos erróneos de uno mismo para mantener la madurez emocional, nuestro curso de acción específico es abordarlo de manera integral en función del modelo Upanishadic. La principal contribución de este trabajo es traer a la vanguardia un modelo práctico y utilizable que puede proporcionar pasos claros para refinar las orientaciones habituales causadas por conceptos erróneos de uno mismo. Presentamos el mecanismo causal que subyace a los mecanismos cognitivo-emocionales en los que los constructos centrales son cualidades Conocidas, Activas e Inertes a lo largo de seis áreas de influencia en el comportamiento que provocan tres grupos distintos de emociones que dan como resultado decisiones consecuentes. Usando un ejercicio breve basado en escenarios, presentamos los pasos que los estudiantes pueden tomar para desarrollar cualidades de liderazgo responsable. Las implicaciones en lugares de trabajo menos estresantes y más felices se discuten brevemente. Se presenta una nueva definición de liderazgo que ayuda a distinguir el verdadero liderazgo de los notorios. El modelo y los pasos que lo acompañan ayudan a los estudiantes de MBA a convertirse en líderes justos, reflexivos, conocedores, compasivos y veraces, que trabajan en beneficio de toda la sociedad.

Palabras clave
estudiantes de mba, liderazgo, ejercicios, modelo de las tres cualidades, cambios cognitivos, habilidades de desplazamiento del pensamiento, autorregulación del líder, autoconocimiento, cualidades virtuosas, cualidades viciosas

13 September 2022

26 January 2023

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license.


Sundararajan, M. & Sundararajan, B. (2023). Breaking self-misconceptions driven emotional loops of mba students to help them become responsible leaders, Journal of Management and Business Education. 6(2), 142-172.


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