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Open access

Michael Harvey

Open access

Steven P. Dandaneau

How will land-grant universities fulfill their democratic mission in an era of declining public support? A case study of Milton S. Eisenhower's presidency of Kansas State College (1943–1950) explores the entrenched ideological tensions with which land-grant university leaders must still contend, and through historical analysis illustrates key elements in their past successful navigation. Recognized today more often for his fraternal relationship to the 34th President of the United States, this paper argues that Milton Eisenhower, four times a university president and a long-time public servant in his own right, is a leader from whom much can be learned. It is argued, furthermore, that today's public higher-education leaders face challenges similar to those faced by Eisenhower, the resolution of which will determine whether the democratic heritage articulated in the Morrill Act of 1862 is preserved or abandoned.

Open access

Nathan Harter

Prospective leaders are frequently advised to know themselves. Such knowledge takes the form of an image, requiring the use of the imagination to create an identity based on some kind of self-concept. This process of looking inward is incomplete without also gaining critical distance from the self. Three prominent philosophers had offered heuristics to imagine oneself as somebody else. Plato asked, for example: what if you were no one – literally anonymous? How would that alter your perspective? Immanuel Kant suggested that you consider yourself and your situation from everyone's point of view and not just your own. And John Rawls asked, in regards to constituting a group or organization or even something so simple as a contract: what if you might be anyone, especially the least advantaged? Would the arrangement you presently favor seem fair to anyone? By adopting these heuristics and getting outside of one's self, a leader might avoid typical ethical failings and actually gain a more authentic self-concept.

Open access

Jeffrey L. McClellan

As there is not much in the academic literature of leadership that explores the historical and foundational roots of leadership culture within specific countries, this paper seeks to address this void. It does so by providing a conceptual model for exploring leadership cultural foundations by examining the motives, goals, and means of influence of leaders through an interdisciplinary review of the literature on social life in precolonial Ecuador. It then applies this model to understanding leadership in the precolonial societies of modern day Ecuador. In doing so, this article summarizes what is known about leadership within these precolonial societies, at the time just prior to the arrival of the Inca and the Spanish, in order to propose a model of precolonial indigenous leadership in Ecuador.

Open access

Steven Dandaneau

Open access

David Chrislip, Jill Arensdorf, Timothy Steffensmeier and Mary Hale Tolar

This paper focuses on leadership in the civic arena. Over the past four decades the field of leadership studies has moved away from a narrow leader-centric focus to a more expansive view that includes other dimensions such as the leader's relationship with followers and the fulfillment of the needs of both leaders and followers. But this progress within the field has not been matched by a similar shift in popular cultural conceptions of leadership. Our hypothesis is that the dominant cultural narrative of leadership with its central focus on the authority of the leader is inadequate for making progress in the civic arena. We need a more capacious and flexible conception of leadership to help address complex civic challenges. In this paper we explore the dominant cultural narrative of leadership and its communicative practices. We analyse the civic context to which leadership must respond. We discuss corrective experiments that attempt to make leadership more responsive to this context. We define the gap between how the dominant cultural narrative describes leadership and what's needed in this particular context. Finally, we ask the field to help reshape this dominant cultural narrative to reflect contemporary understandings of leadership within the field and to help advance the study of leadership in the civic context through research, pedagogy, and practice.

Open access

Jon Aarum Andersen

The aim of this article is to enhance the understanding of the present state of leadership scholarship by describing similarities between leadership theories and underlining significant differences between them. Based on four criteria, two broad groups of leadership theories are identifiable. These two groups are fundamentally different with respect to the conceptions of both organisations and leadership. While one group of theories concentrates on descriptions and understandings of leadership processes, the other group emphasises causal relationships between leadership and organisational outcomes. A critical result of the divergent emphases is that the theoretical relationships between these two groups of scholarship appear to have ended. Advancements in one area may no longer be beneficial to other areas. This article stresses that it is necessary to come to grips with the consequences of the present fissured state in leadership research.

Open access

Lisa DeFrank-Cole and Renee K. Nicholson

The parallels between the arts and leadership have been underexplored, especially in the context of classical ballet. An interdisciplinary exploration of ballet and leadership by a leadership scholar and a classically trained ballet dancer enable a thorough and thoughtful look at the intersections of these worlds. This will bring a fresh perspective to ballet's unique culture, one often stuck in nineteenth-century contexts based on outmoded gender roles.

Women dominate the art form yet few rise to prominent leadership roles. Data reveal unequal opportunities for women in areas such as choreography. Moreover, choreographers embody a different kind of artistic leadership, crafting the way audiences view the dancers in the troupe. Men most often craft this view of women with the works they choose to present. A recent accounting of choreographic works by major American ballet companies showed that women choreographed only 25 of the 290 ballets performed in 2012. Thus, on stage, men largely manipulate the image of women in ballet. If ‘ballet is woman,’ according to the late choreographer George Balanchine, why are there still so few at the top?

The example pulled for a new outlook breaks with outmoded representation. Bold, confident, and embodying a very different paradigm, Misty Copeland (American Ballet Theatre's principal dancer) presents a different face of the ballet dancer/leader. This paper gives a brief history of the introduction of ballet to the United States, highlights gender norms in the context of leadership and offers a different perspective on women's roles as leaders in dance.

Open access

Tuomas Kuronen and Aki-Mauri Huhtinen

In this essay, we associate leadership with desire as understood by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We start from Jacques Derrida's notion of the sovereign resembling beasts and criminals, contrary to common, elevated accounts of leaders. In the course of the essay, we show that desire is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for enduring charismatic leadership to occur. In other words, to become and remain a leader, the leader has to evince desire not only towards leading and having followers, but also towards desire itself. This second-order desire or ‘desirefulness’ makes leadership a business of gathering and displaying excess. We exemplify our theoretical treatment with two micro-biographies of contemporary charismatic leaders, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy and Vladimir Putin of Russia. We do this in order to highlight the aspect of leadership that is charismatic, effective and unethical, something that is most often omitted from analyses of leadership. Our findings are twofold: first, we identify a triple hermeneutic of leadership between leader and followers, and second, we understand leadership as being profoundly meta-ethical, defining the boundaries of the social and the ethical.