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Contemporary Critical Perspectives

Second Edition
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March 2019 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Written from a global and critical perspective with a diverse range of cases and examples throughout, this is an inspiring read for developing leaders operating within global and multicultural work settings.

‘Power’ is taken as central theme for this book, opening up discussion about issues that are often neglected in leadership texts i.e. fairness, equity, justice, resistance, conflict, emancipation, oppression, rationality, politics, globalization, the natural environment, and knowledge.

New to this edition:

  • A new prologue: ‘An Unconventional History of Leadership Studies'
  • A new epilogue on ‘Embodied Leadership, Ethics, and its Affects’ written by David Knights, one of the authors of Embodied Research Methods (pub April 2019)
  • 3 new topical integrative case studies, based on current events: Jacinda Ar-dern’s pregnancy when PM; #MeToo; and Suma Foods co-operative
  • Updated research and pedagogical features throughout, including the ‘Leadership on Screen’ feature

The book is complemented by a range of online resources including PowerPoint slides, videos of the book’s authors providing an overview of the chapter and discussing why the topic is important, access to journal articles discussed in the book, and links to additional relevant material.


Table Of Contents
Suze Wilson
Prologue: An Unconventional History of Leadership Studies
Part I: Classical Theories of Leadership
Donna Ladkin
Chapter 1: Leadership, Management and Headship: Power, Emotion and Authority in Organizations
Scott Taylor
Chapter 2: Trait Theories of Leaders and Leadership: From Ancient Greece to Twenty-first-century Neuroscience
John Cullen
Chapter 3: Leading through Contingencies
Helen Delaney and Sverre Spoelstra
Chapter 4: Transformational Leadership: Secularized Theology?
Suze Wilson
Chapter 5: History of Leadership
Part II: Leading in Context
Brigid Carroll
Chapter 6: Leadership Learning and Development
Annie Pye
Chapter 7: Leadership, Governance and Strategy
Amanda Sinclair and Michelle Evans
Chapter 8: Difference and Leadership
Nancy Harding
Chapter 9: Studying Followers
PART III: Contemporary Perspectives
David Knights
Chapter 10: Leadership and Ethics
Simon Kelly
Chapter 11: Leadership and Process
Lucia Crevani
Chapter 12: Relational Leadership
Neil Sutherland
Chapter 13: Leadership without Leaders: Understanding Anarchist Organizing through the Lens of Critical Leadership Studies
Jackie Ford
Chapter 14: Leadership, Post-structuralism and the Performative Turn
Owain Smolovic-Jones and Brad Jackson
Chapter 15: Seeing Leadership: Becoming Sophisticated Consumers of Leadership
David Knights
Epilogue: Embodied Leadership, Ethics and its Affects


Click for online resources

For Instructors

  • PowerPoint slides

For Students:

  • Videos of the book’s authors providing an overview of the chapter and discussing why the topic is important.
  • Links to SAGE journal articles
  • Links to additional resources

Smart, provocative, and sometimes irreverent, this book provokes students and practitioners to think realistically about the nature of leadership and how it emerges and functions. Readers will discover how context, history, and factors such as gender, race, and ethnicity, shape the way that leadership manifests itself in organizations and society.

Professor Joanne B. Ciulla
Rutgers Business School

"Mainstream leadership research remains mired in a hopeless infatuation with overblown images of heroic leadership. Leadership in ‘the real world’ is much more complex than that. Each chapter in this immensely wise and well-written book shows us how to think differently about leadership. A compelling read."

Professor Dennis Tourish
University of Sussex Business School

"Finally a book on leadership that I can use in graduate as well as executive teaching – and enjoy myself! It’s equally informative, reflexive, provoking and entertaining: pedagogical without losing edge. On top of that the authors have made it really easy to teach from as it’s full of reflexive exercises and relevant case studies."

Professor Sara Louise Muhr
Copenhagen Business School

This book is innovatively written, nice reading, interesting, with good case studies that are current. It is a suitable book for a high level of a master class, or as an elective Ph.D. reading for the first year of a management Ph.D. The contemporary perspective is especially interesting. I am a non-native English speaker so I highly appreciate the book's clear, easily readable English language.

Dr Zsuzsanna Kispal-Vitai
Faculty of Business & Economics, University of Pecs
April 10, 2019

This is a very good book that takes the students from classics to contemporary issues in leadership. The case studies, further thinking, stop and reflect are very useful to stimulate discussion in tutorials.

Ms Marilia Angove
Glamorgan Business School, University of South Wales (Glamorgan)
April 1, 2019

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Brigid Carroll

Brigid Carroll is an Associate Professor of Organisation Studies in the Department of Management and International Business and Director of Research at the New Zealand Leadership Institute, both at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. More About Author

Jackie Ford

Jackie Ford is Professor of Leadership and Organization studies at Durham University Business School, UK. More About Author

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor is Reader/Associate Professor at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, in the UK. He has now been teaching and researching for almost 20 years, mostly in England, with visits to India, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Scott researches the everyday human experience of work, management, and leadership. All of his research is based on interpretive analysis of qualitative data. He’s published this research in peer-reviewed journals like Leadership, Organization, Journal of Management Studies, Sociology, and Journal of Business Ethics, and in books like The Organization of Craft Work ... More About Author

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