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The critical turn in leadership

Participants at the workshop

12 December 2014

Hosted by the Department of Management Learning and Leadership and funded by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, this workshop introduced and discussed the meaning and value of Critical Leadership Studies.

This new approach to leadership studies comprises a number of critical perspectives that examine important, but often neglected issues in leadership such as power, authority, identity, gender, ethnicity and race. Designed to engage the next generation of critical scholars, the workshop acted as a forum for doctoral students and early career researchers to share knowledge and experiences and to network with established and senior academics. 

The workshop was open to doctoral students in the HE sector. It attracted over 40 participants from across the UK. Organised by Department of Management Learning and Leadership (DMLL) colleagues Dr Valerie Stead, Professor Claire Leitch and Professor David Collinson, the workshop adds to an agenda of research activities and events that DMLL are hosting and engaged with in relation to developing new perspectives on Critical Leadership Studies. Responding to an identified need in contemporary leadership research for greater attention to critical issues, the workshop also aimed to offer support and promote networks for doctoral students and early career researchers beyond local provision.   

The workshop was innovative in its active learning approach to developing the leadership skills and capabilities of doctoral students and early career researchers. Doctoral students and early career researchers took leading roles in the workshop, including presenting their research, interviewing leading scholars and facilitating discussion groups. Leading critical scholars also presenting included Professor David Collinson (LUMS) Professor Jackie Ford, (Bradford University), Professor David Knights (LUMS & Open University), Professor Alison Pullen (McQuairie University, Australia)  and Professor Dennis Tourish (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Participants’ feedback highlighted the value of hearing from leading scholars and doctoral students  and having the opportunity to discuss their own research with other critical leadership researchers.

The Department of Management Learning and Leadership will be hosting the 2015 International Studying Leadership Conference which aims to build on themes of critical leadership discussed in the workshop.