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Discursive Leadership
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Discursive Leadership
In Conversation with Leadership Psychology



February 2007 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Leadership Solutions

2007 National Communication Association, Organizational Communication Division, "Best Book" Award

Citing the well known adage that there are as many definitions of leadership as there are leadership scholars, Fairhurst acknowledges the contributions which psychologists have made to leadership research, before probing the inevitable limitations to their formidable body of work. Fairhurst's work is also thought provoking on the issue of authenticity on the part of leaders."
—HUMAN RELATIONS


Discursive Leadership: In Conversation with Leadership Psychology
presents a new, groundbreaking way for scholars and graduate students to examine and explore leadership. Differing from a psychological approach to leadership which tries to get inside the heads of leaders and employees, author Gail Fairhurst focuses on the social or communicative aspects between them. A discursive approach to leadership introduces a host of relatively new ideas and concepts and helps us understand leadership's changing role in organizations.

Key Features:  
  • Compares and contrasts discursive leadership with leadership psychology: This comparison facilitates a clearer definition of discursive leadership.
  • Presents new ways to study leadership: By treating each discourse concept as a heuristic device and supporting each concept with examples, new ways to study leadership are introduced by focusing on key concepts from the organizational discourse literature.
  • Addresses some key challenges within leadership psychology: Each chapter begins with an ongoing debate in leadership psychology and illustrates how a discursive approach can join that debate. Charimatic leadership, leader-member exchange, authentic leadership are just a few of the examples.
  • Offers reactions from leadership psychologists: Leadership psychologists and other discourse scholars respond to the author's proposed 'conversation' between them broadening the debate and introducing new perspectives.
  • Provides quick reviews and extended examples: The book includes critical summaries at the end of each chapter and easy-to-reference appendices.
Intended Audience:  
This book helps scholars, researchers, and practitioners understand the complexities of leadership as it continues to evolve due to such influences as globalization, technology change, and democratization of the workplace. It is also an excellent text for graduate courses such as Leadership; Rhetoric of Leadership; Interpretive Studies of Organizational Communication; Organizational Communication; and Leadership & Communication in the departments of communication, business & management, psychology, and educational administration.
 
1: Two Traditions
 
2: Sequence and Temporal Form
 
3: Membership Categorization
 
4: Disciplinary Power
 
5: Self-Identities, Interpretive Repertoires
 
6: Narrative Logics
 
7: Material Mediations
 
8: Praxis and More Conversation
 
Appendices

"Citing the well known adage that there are as many definitions of leadership as there are leadership scholars, Fairhurst acknowledges the contributions which psychologists have made to leadership research, before probing the inevitable limitations to their formidable body of work.  Fairhurst's work is also thought provoking on the issue of authenticity on the part of leaders."

—HUMAN RELATIONS

Dennis Tourish
Robert Gordon University

"Unusually for an edited book, this text offers strong insights and cogency of argument throughout. In general, in my opinion, it manages to maintain a discursive focus while avoiding the exaggerated claims for the value of its approach that often mar this kind of endeavour."

Dennis Tourish
Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK
Human Relations

A critical engagement that provides a comprehensive elaboration on the leadership narrative

Dr Abdoulie Sallah
Business School, Staffordshire University
November 13, 2014

an excellent work but not suitable for the students undertaking the course. I have personally recommended it to others though

Mr Brian Boag
Nurisng and Midwifery, University of the West of Scotland
February 18, 2013

Explores some interesting concepts, however could only be used as supplemental reading to this course as it is not general enough for what I require

Ms Emma Stevens
Centre for Lifelong learning, Hull University
September 24, 2011

very interesting book discussing language in organizational processes, however not fully filling the function that I needed for this particular course

Dr Claudia Bernhard-Oettel
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University
April 18, 2011

Good interaction with leadership studies, but too specific for our basic course on "Models of Christian Leadership." However, highly recommended for students who'd like to pursue this direction in leadership further, which in the context of religious leadership, is a key direction.

Dr Jack Barentsen
Practical Theology, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit
December 31, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1 - Two Traditions

Chapter 6 - Narrative Logics


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