What constitutes caring leadership within a university environment? In addressing this question, I examine current discussions on care, leadership and higher education before turning to explore Hannah Arendt’s ideas about care, which was an important aspect of her relational approach to leadership. She was adamant that this kind of leadership was rarely found in universities, further arguing that a kind of professional deformation pervaded academia, encouraging self-interest rather than collective well-being. Some professors live in a fantasy world, Arendt argued, failing to recognize how their actions demonstrate a care for self over a care for others. After exploring discourses of care and leadership, I illustrate her claim by examining how Martin Heidegger’s leadership actions demonstrate how privileging a particular vision can result in carelessness toward others. Finally, I show how an Arendtian approach offers insight into what it might mean to lead caringly.
Rita A. Gardiner
This chapter asks two interrelated questions. First, how do leaders judge what is a responsible course of action? Second, how do others judge what constitutes responsibility in leadership action? The argument put forward is that thinking with Hannah Arendt deepens our comprehension of what it might mean to lead responsibly. She encourages us to recognize that leading in a responsible manner is, above all, a judgment call. From an Arendtian perspective, to judge responsibly requires a leader to consider each issue from multiple viewpoints. Thus, a measured response requires a willingness to approach an issue from diverse perspectives, and to engage in the kind of reflection that is critical to responsible leadership. Yet although it may appear easy to determine when a leader is acting responsibly, there are times when such determination is not clear-cut. To explore this tension, the chapter examines a political scandal in Canadian politics.
Rita A. Gardiner and Katy Fulfer
The political philosopher Hannah Arendt argued that judgment is a vital component of human deliberation, enriching understanding and enhancing decision-making abilities. In this chapter, we explore her approach to judgment in relation to leadership and politics. After a short introduction of Arendt's life and work, we examine how Arendt applies her ideas to leadership and the political realm. Next, we examine how she conceptualizes judgment, connecting her approach with the work of leadership scholars who view judgment as a form of practical wisdom. Then, we explore how an Arendtian approach to judgment offers insight into contemporary political events related to COVID-19. Specifically, we examine the conflicting opinions, and sometimes violent responses, to political orders mandating mask-wearing in public. In the concluding section, we explore how Arendtian judgment provides an additional contribution that may help scholars further understand the interconnections among leadership, judgment, and complex issues.
Faith Wambura Ngunjiri and Rita A. Gardiner
Rita A. Gardiner, Jennifer Chisholm and Hayley Finn
This chapter illustrates the ways in which institutional ethnography (IE) is a suitable method of inquiry for gender and management research. IE can help researchers understand how organizational policies operate in particular local settings, and how they influence gender relations within an institution. Specifically, we examine how provincial legislation in Ontario, Canada dealing with gender violence in higher education informs and coordinates institutional policy making and its implementation. This coordination relates to the everyday lived experiences of students, staff and faculty within two higher education institutions in the province. We suggest that the “relations of ruling,” discussed by Dorothy Smith, offers a conceptual framework that focuses on individuals’ experiences, to address underlying organizational inequities, and institutional sexism. By examining how these relations of ruling operate in one instance, we illustrate how IE could be a useful method of inquiry for gender and management research more broadly.