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 5: Tips for constructing taxonomic leadership analysis

Donald R. LaMagdeleine

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


In lieu of a conventional methodological chapter, Chapter 5 provides tips on how to use conventional techniques for data collection and analysis in taxonomic leadership analysis. The first set of recommendations concern starting with field data collection techniques and continuously checking the data for analytic clues. The chapter also stresses the importance of conceptual metaphors and analogies because they provide direct access to the researcher’s imagination about core themes and how they might fit together. Finally, the author recommends approaching the research as a normative case, a window into a problematic dilemma that is more likely than not to include an ethical dimension with broader implications for other situations.

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