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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.

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Emma Watton and Philippa Chapman

This chapter highlights the use of a leadership artefacts activity as an ice-breaker exercise for newly formed groups. We have used this approach to great effect with learners engaged on programmes designed to create sustainable and responsible leadership within organisations. The nature and role of artefacts in leadership lived experience is examined. The revelations for participants of how personal artefacts can catalyse reflective insight into leadership practice is explored. We hope the chapter will serve as good practice and that it will be of interest to practitioners in customising and applying it to other leadership development programmes.

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Jon Billsberry and Carolyn P. Egri

Videography is an ideal tool for leadership development as it involves interpersonal leadership of and participation with fellow filmmakers and acting talent as well as keen observation and management of human behaviour to create strong depictions of leadership for the audience. Moreover, videographic methods deny the definitive learning outcome of ‘making someone a leader’ as inherent in the approach is the notion of ‘multiple readings of films’ and a sense of engagement with a process of discovery. Instead, videography gives participants an opportunity to explore and express their leadership as part of their own leadership journey. Videography is particularly powerful because of the intense and creative journey and the how the emergent artefacts fosters retention of ideas, experiences, and lessons.

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Andrew Armitage

Morgan (2010) in What Poetry Brings to Business explores the deep but unexpected connections between business and poetry, and the emotional power, and communicative complexity that poetry brings to organisations. In order address innovation and problem solving, allowing leaders to deal with organisational complexity in a more creative manner, and also providing them with the ability to empathise with and understand the thoughts and feelings of others. Poetry can thus facilitating the develop of imaginative solutions, and dealing with chaotic environments. Poetry empowers individuals to carefully attend to context and settings, and offer a route to explore and challenge established truths, and the hidden worlds of leadership that often go unsaid in the milieu of normal conversation. As such, this chapter seeks to develop the use of poetry in leadership development programmes as a stimulus for reflexive dialogue in order to examine leadership practice with particular attention to care ethics.

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Jonathan Gosling and Simon Western

This chapter describes how leaders learn from difference, learn from each other and learn from practice through a ‘leadership exchange’ - a reciprocal research programme in which participants receive orientation to reflexive methods, training in observation skills, and then partner up to shadow each other for three days, before being debriefed and coached to deepen the learning from this experience. We developed the method on an executive masters program in the late 1990’s. Since then it has been successfully deployed on a large scale in global post-merger integrations, customised organisation development interventions, in Masters of Arts (MA) and open executive programmes, and as part of personalised coaching. It therefore contributes to a broad array of applications including research training, leadership formation and organisational development. To explore how it works, and why some distinctive features are important, we utilise psychoanalytic insights into unconscious processes such as ‘pairing’, containment and voyeurism; and systems psychodynamic concepts of role, task and boundaries.

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James Campbell Quick, Keri DeCay, Navadha Modha and John L. Goolsby

It is argued that leadership is a form of skilled performance learned from masters, personal experience, and self-reflection. The Goolsby Leadership Academy has three pillars: executives, students, and faculty. Executives share their autobiographies and experience. Students learn to lead and to follow. Faculty facilitates student development and engage in leadership research. Goolsby Scholars learn to lead through (1) structured self-assessments that enhance their self-awareness and self-mastery; (2) interviews through which they create their own biographical cases; and (3) an annual hosted event featuring a distinguished leader or professor who shares her or his leadership point of view. This chapter focuses primarily on the art of the interview and its enduring value.

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Donna Ladkin

Leaders face particular difficulties in exercising their role ethically: balancing the needs of conflicting stakeholders is often impossible, decisions must be taken without complete knowledge of their consequences and actions taken are often indeterminate in terms of their ethical justification. Grounded in the notion that leaders’ ability to respond well to ethically questionable situations can be enhanced despite these factors, this chapter sets out a practice-based approach to developing ethically astute leaders. Five design elements are offered as key to such interventions: building bridges, expanding perception, developing negative capability, encouraging inquiry and reflexivity, and immersive assessment activities. Through offering practices which can be honed in off-line situations, it is proposed that leaders can develop the ethical ‘muscle’ necessary for them to engage well in the ethically ambiguous territory in which they often find themselves.

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Wadii Serhane, Sigrid Endres and Jürgen Weibler

As a socioanalytical method of experiential leadership development, the social photo matrix (SPM) uses both evocative and expressive work media (e.g. photographs, drawings, free associations, and amplifications) to explore daily leadership practice in depth. Photographs have many sociocultural functions beyond their evocative function that can foster reflection about deeper levels of our social systems. Moreover, by producing drawings and collectively viewing them together with the photographs, participants may become aware of their habitual (and often unconscious) leadership practices, and critically integrate new thinking to move towards expanded possibilities of leadership in practice. We show the basic assumptions of the SPM methodology, illustrate our work design, and provide a frame for a critically reflective application of the SPM in practice.

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Steve Kempster

This chapter outlines how the ‘tents’ exercise was shaped by research on how we learn to lead. Designed to enable the leadership experiences stemming from the course of their life, it seeks to surface unexplored, often unrecognised influences and tacit knowledge of leadership. Emerging out of the ‘Tents’ process is an organized narrative. The chapter explores how this understanding is utilized as part of a workshop focused on developing leadership practice.

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Arthur F. Turner

Leadership development scholars have been reflecting, on different approaches to leadership development programmes particularly those lecturers and facilitators interested in using aesthetic approaches and ideas. Recent aesthetic approaches have been captured in collections of work outlining different approaches to leadership development (Edwards, Elliott, Iszatt-White and Schedlitzki, 2013). Interest in the use of objects and artefacts has also grown. This chapter highlights the use of small finger puppets, representing a wide range of people both dead and alive, within leadership development and coaching. Discovered by chance the author outlines the use of finger puppets as an extension of the oft-used ‘visual aid’ for enhancing delegates’ understanding of the course content. This Chapter describes the ways in which these finger puppets have been used which has enable variety, interest and surprise to the wider concepts of experiential variety in the delivery of leadership ideas. The application of puppets is a significant move away from many over more conventional ways of engaging delegates and students and this novelty adds both humour and playfulness but also contributes to the processing, understanding and interpretation of conventional leadership theories and models.