About us

The Department of Management Learning and Leadership is the leading academic centre in Europe solely committed to the critique and improvement of learning processes for leaders, managers and organisations.

Learning and 'knowledge acquisition' are increasingly recognised as crucial for management and leadership both in terms of development and in the reflective understanding necessary for such development. The department undertakes research and teaching in both management learning and in leadership.

Management learning as a field of study

Management learning as a field of study is concerned with the educational processes used in university-based business and management schools, and the training and development processes used in corporate, consultancy and independent college settings.

It is concerned with the full spectrum - from specific methods, skills and practices of facilitating learning, through programme design to corporate, state and international policy issues in developing managers and organisations.

It has its own distinctive theoretical and methodological perspectives and approaches, drawing on psychology, sociology, education and organisation theory, and the whole spectrum of multi-disciplinary concepts brought to bear on management, organisation and business. It takes a critical perspective on both theory and practice, but with a commitment to improving practice in terms of social, economic and environmental criteria.

Leadership as a field of study

Leadership as a field of study is concerned with a critical understanding of the theory and practice of organisational leading, past, present and future.

The origins of the study of leadership go back to Plato, Sun Tzu and Machiavelli but it has only become the focus of contemporary academic studies in the last 50 years, and particularly in the last decade.

Much of the initial leadership research took a psychological perspective, focusing upon the individual leaders. More recent scholarship has broadened the approach to include sociology, political science, anthropology and organisational behaviour. It focuses more on the relationships between leaders and followers as well as the importance of social context and culture. The Department of Management Learning and Leadership hosts the international journal Leadership, and provides a major input to the Lancaster Leadership Centre.