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The promise of relational leadership (and why it doesn’t work)

Organisation Studies

Speaker:Professor Barbara Simpson, Professor of Leadership and Organisational Dynamics, Strathclyde Business School
Date: Tuesday 10 December 2013
Time: 4.00 - 5.30 pm
Location: Bateman Lecture Theatre, Building One

Further details

The contemporary critical literature on leadership has firmly rejected traditional leader-centric accounts in favour of more distributed and relational theories that emphasise the dynamic movements of leading (e.g. Gergen, 2009; Hosking, 2011; and Uhl-Bien, 2006). However, the old leader-centric arguments continue to dominate the practice domain. In this seminar, I will explore why this might be the case, and what obstacles prevent organisations from embracing more relational approaches to leadership. In particular, I will discuss the flow of emotions that necessarily accompanies any relational engagement, and as such contributes to the relationality of all organisational situations.
Barbara Simpson is Professor of Leadership and Organisational Dynamics at Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow. She is interested in the ongoing and emergent nature of performative practices such as organising, leading, strategising, learning, and innovating, which she explores through an explicitly processual lens that is deeply informed by American Pragmatism. Her recent work has been published in Organization Studies, Human Relations, Organization, and Journal of Management Inquiry.