Call for papers

In 2015 the International Studying Leadership Conference returns to Lancaster University Management School. Having hosted the Conference in 2003 and 2005, as well as having launched the Leadership journal in 2005, Lancaster provides an ideal setting for debates and discussions about important new directions for leadership and leadership development.


[We have received several requests for some leeway regarding our deadline and therefore we have extended the deadline till the 28th of September. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this extended deadline].


Within the burgeoning literature on leadership, there is an increasing recognition that mainstream leader-centred assumptions, functionalist theories and positivist methodologies carry significant limitations. Yet, there is much less agreement about what an alternative approach to studying, teaching, developing and enacting leadership might look like. This major international conference provides a timely opportunity for participants to explore the potential of the diverse but increasingly influential perspectives that have come to be known as ‘critical leadership studies’.

Paper submissions are particularly encouraged that address the significance of critical approaches for the wider domain of leadership studies, identifying their main contours, and indicating emerging challenges. The conference organisers welcome conceptual and empirical contributions that draw on critical frameworks to examine key global leadership issues from power, identity and inequality, to emotions, resistance and conformity. The aim of the conference is to encourage a re-thinking of leadership studies from a more global and critical perspective and to interrogate what ‘being critical’ might mean for contemporary theory and practice. This might also involve using alternative ontologies and epistemologies.

We are pleased to announce that at least one special issue, titled “New Directions in Leadership Studies: Exploring The Critical Turn” will be published in the journal Leadership. In line with the journal’s policy of inclusivity, papers exploring alternative new directions are also welcomed.

We invite proposals for paper presentations related to the theme, New Directions in Leadership Studies: Exploring The Critical Turn. Contributions are welcome in the form of papers, symposia or PhD posters. Submissions of no more than 1000 words should be submitted by September 14th, 2015. Each abstract submission will be subject to a blind peer-review process. A decision on all abstracts received will be conveyed to contributors by 16th of October, 2015. Further details regarding submission process and criteria can be found in the section titled “submissions”.

Anyone wishing to discuss a possible submission or additional queries should contact Dr Ishan Jalan ( or Professor David Collinson (

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 14th International Studying Leadership Conference ISLC 2015, in Lancaster!