Leadership in practice

    Project: Internally funded project

    Project Details


    The field of leadership studies is arguably undergoing a revolution. Researchers are increasingly moving away from investigating the traits that leaders have, the capabilities and competencies they possess, and the processes through which particular individuals came to be ‘great leaders’. Instead researchers are drawing on a number of theoretical advances to explore where in social situations leadership emerges in order to understand the situationally-responsive leader-ful behaviours that occur in diverse cultural settings. This application seeks cluster funding for two research projects that help will position the School at the leading-edge of three complementary debates on leadership. The first concerns a re-thinking of leadership as a movement that emerges from, and is performed through, relationships. Viewed in this way, leading becomes an emergent quality of what passes between people, as they negotiate who they are and how they should act on an ongoing basis. The second strand of research takes up this question of how the role of ‘the leader’ is changing. Responding to a rising interest in embodiment, leadership studies have moved to examine the changing norms affecting the performance of roles in contemporary, increasingly trans-national, organizations. There is, for instance, renewed interest in exploring the way women are called upon to perform leadership, and an active concern with examining the implications of the body’s absence from relations predominantly undertaken online. The third theoretical development reflects the wider practice turn in organization studies. As elsewhere, notably in strategy, the move to consider leadership-as-practice has been embraced by a number of leading international scholars keen to explore what a focus on the everyday practices of organizational participants might tell us about where and when leadership emerges.

    Layman's description

    Research which aims to move away from "great men's" accounts of heroically leading organizations in order to reveal the often subtle ways in which we influence each other in leaderful ways.
    Effective start/end date25/09/1528/09/18