Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity

Edited by Michael D. Mumford and Sven Hemlin

The rapid pace of technological change and globalization of products, competition and services have conspired to place a new premium on innovation for firms across the world. Although many variables influence creativity and innovation, the effective leadership of creative teams has proved especially important. This timely Handbook presents the state of the art for what leaders must do to lead creative teams and how they should do it.
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Chapter 4: How can we advise Achilles? A rehabilitation of the concept of the champion for leadership

Steven E. Markham and Janice Witt Smith


In this chapter, the authors resurrect the functional leadership perspective with respect to the concept of the champion. They examine the rationale for selecting this notion within the context of leading creative innovations, its conceptual meaning and clarity, its typology across 12 sub-types, and the degree to which managers engage in championing. They suggest that, at a minimum, we need to incorporate into the construct at least four sub-functions. They also offer a temporal model of how the championship process unfolds. Finally, they consider the future of research about champions. A solid case can be made for reinvigorating the concept of champions, especially if we acknowledge its popularity in a wide range of practitioner literature. The authors conclude with implications for researchers, publishers, and practitioners.

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