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Eric F. Rietzschel, Barbara Wisse and Diana Rus

The use of experimental research methods can be of great benefit to researchers who want to gain more insight into causal relationships in leadership processes. In this chapter, the authors first explain which experimental paradigms and methods are often used by leadership researchers (e.g., vignette studies, laboratory experiments, field experiments, group experiments) and provide some examples. Subsequently, they address some unique strengths of these experimental methods. Some specific points they discuss are related to issues of internal validity/testing causal explanations, the opportunity of studying specific underlying processes in isolation, testing possible interventions, testing complex models, and the relatively low time investment needed to conduct some types of experimental research. Notably, experimental methods also have potential pitfalls and they discuss those as well by pointing to the pervasive use of student samples, a general lack of psychological realism/external validity, the use of low-impact manipulations of high-impact situations, and the use of short-term approaches to long-term phenomena. Finally, they present a look to the future of leadership research, highlighting recent developments in experimental leadership methods and pointing out opportunities for further development and refinement of these methods.

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Jan Schilling

While the vast majority of leadership studies employ classical quantitative designs, the last two decades have seen repeated calls for increasing the use of qualitative methods in leadership research. The present chapter strives to support this claim by giving a comprehensive overview on qualitative content analysis as a systematic, rule-based process of analysing verbal and textual data (e.g., interviews, group discussions, documents). The underlying principles as well as typical problems of qualitative research are addressed. With the help of examples, the process of qualitative content analysis is presented step by step, and guidelines for researchers’ decisions and actions are developed. While it is quite easy to find general introductions to theory, methodology and qualitative data collection, researchers new to this field may find it difficult to access specific know-how concerning the process of qualitative data analysis and interpretation. The present chapter aims at addressing these problems by giving a detailed overview on the steps and milestones in qualitative content analysis. These steps range from condensing and structuring the data to displaying data and results for concluding analyses and interpretation. Ideas for the combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses are also presented.

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Markku Jokisaari

The social network approach provides both the theory and methodology for a detailed examination of the characteristics of the social environment of leadership in an organizational context. This chapter presents the central characteristics of the social network approach and examines how they relate to leadership research. Thereafter, it considers the methodology of the social network approach, including the research design, sampling and data collection methods, and central measures of networks for use in data analysis. It also provides examples from leadership research that has capitalized on social network theory and methodology. Finally, it presents a detailed research example that includes the collection of network data and application of network analysis to understand the characteristics of social networks.

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Steve Kempster, Arthur F. Turner and Gareth Edwards

In this opening chapter we seek to address three purposes. First we outline the focus of the field guide book – experiential learning. Experiential learning in leadership development has been dominated by outdoor (and indoor) activities such as the spiders’ web. However, the ability of such activities to capture the complexity of leadership practice is rather restricted. We explore this point and suggest there is much need for alternative experiential processes that are more suited to the development of leadership practice. Second we outline the chapters of the book that provide a spectrum of approaches that have been developed and tested in the ‘field’ of leadership development. All of the approaches are fundamentally aligned to advancing leadership practice through reflection. Third the chapter seeks to illustrate a style of writing that is commensurate with a field guide. We seek to be direct and engaging; rooted in theoretical arguments yet accessible and connected to everyday practice; provocative and reflexive. The chapter concludes by arguing for reflection and practice to become an essential part of organizational leadership. To that end we offer up the notion of the ‘leadership practice field’ and pose the question ‘how can we enable those who lead to practise leading’.

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Steve Kempster, Eric Guthey and Mary Uhl-Bien

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Scott J. Allen, Arthur J. Schwartz and Daniel M. Jenkins

No amount of talking about leadership will help someone get better at the activity of leading others. We agree with this text’s premise of the “lived experience of leadership.” (See Chapter one). Leadership is like debate, football, cooking or any other learned activity. If your goal is to develop the requisite knowledge and skills of leaders, cognitive understanding is only one ingredient for success. In this chapter, we explore a new and innovative approach to developing leadership via the Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC). The purpose of CLC is to create a dynamic leadership practice field where students (and their coaches) can apply what they are learning in a context that challenges and stretches them to the boundaries of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. This chapter highlights CLC’s approach to developing leadership capacity in students via the tenets of deliberate practice and concludes with key reflections and insights.

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Fiona Kennedy and Ralph Bathurst

This chapter describes a general approach and a specific activity for introducing managers to the leadership work of framing. This can be difficult terrain because the practice of framing encounters managers’ very different beliefs about the nature of reality and the social world. This chapter offers a way of maintaining openness and interest in learning while engaging with material that runs the risk of creating defensiveness and shutting learning down! The general approach and framing activity are illustrated by drawing on the experience of a manager in a leadership programme.

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Beverley Hawkins and Gareth Edwards

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Edited by Steve Kempster, Arthur F. Turner and Gareth Edwards

This Field Guide offers a rich variety of academic approaches to facilitate leadership development in adults. It is an invaluable resource, giving insightful worked examples linked to theory and reflective commentary. The extensive experiences of world leading exponents of leadership development are distilled into practical application for immediate use. 
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Stewart Barnes, Sue Smith and Steve Kempster

This chapter uses the dynamic of being a non-executive director (NED) as a process for leadership development. Context here is significant. The participants are owner-managers of growing businesses. Their context is demanding but also isolating from the lifeblood of leadership development – a variety of contexts, a variety of ‘leaders’ to observe and a variety of demanding inter-personal challenges. The process we explore in this chapter is that leadership learning can be enabled by participating in a peer learning community as a NED. We theorize the development of a NED through the lens of communities of practice. In particular, we look at how a community of owner-managers collectively shape their practice, their capacity and confidence through engagement in a year long journey as non-executive directors.