This book develops a new paradigm in the field of leadership studies, referred to as the "leadership-as-practice" (L-A-P) movement. Its essence is its conception of leadership as occurring as a practice rather than residing in the traits or behaviours of particular individuals. A practice is a coordinative effort among participants who choose through their own rules to achieve a distinctive outcome. It also tends to encompass routines as well as problem-solving or coping skills, often tacit, that are shared by a community. Accordingly, leadership-as-practice is less about what one person thinks or does and more about what people may accomplish together. It is thus concerned with how leadership emerges and unfolds through day-to-day experience. The social and material contingencies impacting the leadership constellation - the people who are effecting leadership at any given time - do not reside outside of leadership but are very much embedded within it. To find leadership, then, we must look to the practice within which it is occurring.
The leadership-as-practice approach resonates with a number of closely related traditions, such as collective, shared, distributed, and relational leadership, that converge on leadership processes. These approaches share a line of inquiry that acknowledges leadership as a social phenomenon. The new focus opens up a plethora of research opportunities encouraging the study of social processes beyond influence, such as intersubjective agency, shared sense-making, dialogue, and co-construction of responsibilities.
Joseph A. Raelin is Professor of Management and Organization Development at Northeastern University, USA.
1. Introduction Introduction to Leadership-as-Practice: Theory and Application Joseph A. Raelin Part 1: Background 2. Mapping the Leadership-as-Practice Terrain: Comparative Elements Lucia Crevani and Nada Endrissat 3. The Philosophical Basis of Leadership-as-Practice from a Hermeneutical Perspective Ann Cunliffe and Paul Hibbert 4. Democratic Roots: Feeding the Multiple Dimensions of Leadership-as-Practice Philip A. Woods Part 2: Embodied Nature 5. Leadership as Identity: A Practice-Based Exploration Brigid Carroll 6. Who's Leading the Way: Investigating the Contributions of Materiality to Leadership-as-Practice Viviane Sergi 7. Turning Leadership Inside-Out and Back-to-Front: A Dialogical Hermeneutical Account John Shotter Part 3: Social Interactions 8. Where's the Agency in Leadership-as-Practice? Barbara Simpson 9 Developing Leadership as Dialogic Practice Kenneth Gergen and Lone Hersted 10. Conversational Travel and the Identification of Leadership Phenomena Caroline Ramsey Part 4: Application 11. Gendered Relationships and the Problem of Diversity in Leadership-as-Practice Jackie Ford 12. Methodologies to Discover and Challenge Leadership-as-Practice Stephen Kempster, Ken Parry, and Brad Jackson 13. Doing Leadership-as-Practice Development David Denyer and Kim Turnbull James