New Horizons in Regional Science series
4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on the L dimension in the model discussed in Chapter 2. As we will see in the discussion that follows, leadership is a complex issue. It can occur in many ways and it can assume many different forms. It can have a profound effect on institutions. Also it can exhibit aspects of entrepreneurship. However, leadership warrants special attention because of the catalytic effect it can have as an explicit factor in the regional endogenous development process. 4.2 LEADERSHIP IN THE CONTEXT OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Leadership has been given many definitions. It is not a straightforward concept, particularly in the context of regional economic development, and there has not been a lot of published research that has systematically analysed the nature of leadership and its role in regional economic development. Nonetheless, it is important to try to define it so that it can be articulated with respect to the goals of this book. While it is common for leadership to be defined in terms of a ‘great person’, in the context of regional development it might be more appropriately seen as an expression or result of ‘collective action’. Thus, in regional economic development, leadership has been given not a ‘starring role’ but has been viewed as a ‘collaborative action’ (Fairholm, 1994; Heenan and Bennis, 1999). Referring to regional economic development, Parkinson (1990) defines leadership as: the capacity to create stable and durable mechanisms and alliances that promote economic regeneration and identifies a range of micro-level skills...
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