Dissent and the Failure of Leadership
Show Less

Dissent and the Failure of Leadership

Edited by Stephen P. Banks

A timely discussion of dissent as a critical factor that differentiates leadership failures and successes. This book explores the vital but largely unrecognized connections between leadership and dissent. From interdisciplinary perspectives the author demonstrates dissent as a critical factor that differentiates leadership failures and successes and examines how dissent is implicated in problems plaguing theory development in leadership studies. By way of conclusion new proposals for legitimating dissent as a unique instrument for advancing social development and avoiding failures of leadership are presented.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: Resistance, Dissent and Leadership in Practice

Gail T. Fairhurst and Heather Zoller


Gail T. Fairhurst and Heather Zoller INTRODUCTION Laurie Graham’s (1995) participant ethnography of an Indiana SubaruIsuzu plant, a Japanese ‘transplant’, reveals an organization in the process of instituting team-based systems and other forms of participative management. Although not the focus of her research, Graham’s case study is used here to highlight the complex relationship between leadership and dissent. In this chapter, we draw out the lessons to be learned as we unpack the complexity of this relationship. However, rather than take a traditional focus and examine leadership as the management of dissent, we turn the scheme on its head to examine dissent as a form of leadership. Our intent is to show a more emergent view of leadership and that ‘dissent leaders’ are more than just the most outspoken members of a group. By examining the practice of dissent in this way we also hope to provide insight for organizational leaders all along the organizational hierarchy, from employees to supervisors, managers and executives. Based on an earlier analysis of this case (Zoller and Fairhurst, 2007), we examine dissent as leadership and the tensions and emotions that must be managed in the inevitable conflicts. THE CASE OF SUBARU-ISUZU In On the Line at Subaru-Isuzu Laurie Graham’s (1995) purpose was to investigate the degree to which control shifts to employees in team-based participative management systems. Graham began working at the plant just as it was gearing up for production. Her study illustrates how management maintains control of employees in a workplace...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.