The Leadership Imagination

The Leadership Imagination

An Introduction to Taxonomic Leadership Analysis

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series

Donald R. LaMagdeleine

In the interest of reimagining leadership as a highly contextual activity with moral overtones, LaMagdeleine argues for blending sociology and history of religions scholarship in leadership analysis of black swan leadership dilemmas. His analysis introduces the term “leadership imagination” to describe the resulting approach.

Chapter 1: What this book is about and why

Donald R. LaMagdeleine

Subjects: politics and public policy, leadership, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory

Abstract

Chapter 1 introduces the book’s rationale, which is that the field of contemporary leadership studies is comparable to that of sociology when C. Wright Mills wrote The Sociological Imagination (1959). Mills decried sociology’s increasing emphasis then on research topics and methods that lent themselves to easily quantified secondary analysis over primary research on complex and multidimensional issues. The author updates Mills’s critique and applies it to contemporary leadership studies, which is in the process of defining its identity and scholarly profile. Building on the author’s extensive career of teaching and chairing doctoral research on complex leadership dilemmas, the book argues for a method of leadership analysis that blends the social sciences and humanities traditions to provide contextually nuanced analysis of organizational black swans over abstract studies of positional leaders.