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Leadership
A Critical Text

Third Edition


April 2019 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In this original text, Simon Western deconstructs and reconstructs leadership to challenge the popular notion of the individual or hero leader, instead using his own framework to present leadership as a distributed process.

New to the third edition:

  • A new chapter on leadership symptoms that offers a novel approach to researching and conceptualizing leadership.
  • An expanded chapter on “Leadership and Diversity” with Pooja Sachdev.
  • Updated material on “The Eco-Leadership Discourse”, with the chapter now differentiating between ethical eco-leadership and commercial eco-leaders (e.g Facebook, Google, Amazon).
  • Analysis of contemporary leadership trends, including leadership in the gig economy, algorithmic management, and the rise in messiah and authoritarian leadership in populist parties.
  • Updated case studies with references to current politicians and organizations.

 


 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Introduction
 
Part One: Deconstructing Leadership
 
Chapter 1: Why A Critical Approach to Leadership?
 
Chapter 2: What is Leadership?
 
Chapter 3: The Plurality Of Leadership: A Case Study
 
Chapter 4: Against Leadership: Autonomist Leadership
 
Chapter 5: Leadership and Diversity
 
Chapter 6: Leadership and Organizational Culture
 
Chapter 7: Corporate Fundamentalism
 
Part Two: Reconstructing Leadership
 
Chapter 8: The Four Discourses of Leadership
 
Chapter 9: The Controller Leadership Discourse
 
Chapter 10: The Therapist Leadership Discourse
 
Chapter 11: The Messiah Leadership Discourse
 
Chapter 12: The Eco-Leadership Discourse
 
Chapter 13: An Overview of the Leadership Discourses
 
Chapter 14: Leadership Formation: Creating Spaces for Leadership to Flourish
 
Chapter 15: Seeking Leadership Symptoms
 
Chapter 16: Epilogue
 
References
 
Index

"Everyone has opinions about leadership, but few people have thought about it as deeply as Simon Western. In this important text, he shows us why we should be suspicious of easy answers and noisy leaders. This is a beautifully written and thought provoking book for anyone who wants to move beyond glib recipes and really think hard about our collective futures."

 

Professor Martin Parker
University of Bristol

This is the third edition of an already internationally acclaimed text. In comparison to previous editions, this third iteration offers shorter chapters and a more transparently presented argumentation.

The tag attached to ‘Leadership’ in the book’s title – ‘A Critical Text’ – is fully justified, given that the premises of argument proposed, challenged and justified through this book remain strongly influenced by reference to European enlightenment (dialectics) and to discourses honed by members of the so-called Frankfurt School and which shaped current interpretations and applications of Critical Theory.

Keith Jackson
Asia Pacific Business Review

"Destined to become a classic, this book is one of the most comprehensive and insightful critical perspectives on leadership that has emerged in the past two decades. Now in its third edition, Leadership: A Critical Text is richly theorized, historically and ecologically grounded, and immensely practical. It is quite simply one of the very best single-volume works on leadership available."

Benjamin W. Redekop
Professor of Leadership Studies, Christopher Newport University

This is an excellent book for exercising critical reasoning towards leadership. Part One offers plenty of food for thought for the purpose of unpacking traditional views on the theme. Part Two provides building blocks for developing alternative views. The book complements and extends significantly other publications informed by a critical perspective on leadership. It is especially suited to the needs of postgraduate students who are already familiar with the mainstream views and want to move to a higher level of analysis.

Professor Manuel Graca
Faculdade De Economia, University of Porto
October 15, 2019

This is an excellent book for exercising critical reasoning towards leadership. Part One offers plenty of food for thought for the purpose of unpacking traditional views on the theme. Part Two provides building blocks for developing alternative views. The book complements and extends significantly other publications informed by a critical perspective on leadership. It is especially suited to the needs of postgraduate students who are already familiar with the mainstream views and want to move to a higher level of analysis.

Professor Manuel Graca
Faculdade De Economia, University of Porto
October 9, 2019

This very engaging book brings a welcome critical dimension, as well as highlighting a number of relevant contemporary issues informing and influencing leadership theories and practices, which resonates for the very diverse PG cohorts and their aspirations. A must read

Ms Marilia Angove
Glamorgan Business School, University of South Wales (Glamorgan)
March 21, 2019

Interesting and relevant topics discussed - author explains his background which supports the credibility of his critical analysis and interesting concepts

Mrs Laura Castles
Management, Torfaen Training
March 9, 2019

This book is a great read. It encompasses past and present thinking on this topical subject.

Mrs Jacqueline Taylor
Department of Education, Newman University
March 6, 2019

An important reading material for students with a definitive structure that guides the student through the process of leadership.

Mr Michael Donaldson
Care Humatities and sport, North Glasgow Collge
February 28, 2019

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 13: An Overview of the Leadership Discourses


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