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Leadership pervades every aspect of organizational and social life, and its study has never been more diverse, nor more fertile. With contributions from those who have defined that territory, this volume is not only a key point of reference for researchers, students and practitioners, but also an agenda-setting prospective and retrospective look at the state of leadership in the twenty-first century. It evaluates the domain and stretches it further by considering leadership scholarship from every angle, concluding with an optimistic look at the future of leaders, followers and their place in organizations and society at large.

Each section represents a distinctive slant on leadership:

- Macro perspectives - including strategic leadership, organization theory, charismatic leadership, complexity leadership, and networks.

- Political and philosophical perspectives - including distributed leadership, critical leadership, ethics, the military and cults.

- Psychological perspectives - including personality, leadership style and contingency theories, transformational leadership, exchange relationships, shared leadership, cognition, leadership development, gender, trust, identity and the 'dark side' of leadership.

- Cultural perspectives - including spirituality, aesthetics, and creativity.

- Contemporary and emergent perspectives - followership, historical methods, virtual leadership, emotions, image, celebrity, and the quest for a general theory of leadership

Leaders and followers live in a relational world—a world in which leadership occurs in complex webs of relationships and dynamically changing contexts. Despite this, our theories of leadership are grounded in assumptions of individuality and linear causality. If we are to advance understandings of leadership that have more relevance to the world of practice, we need to embed issues of relationality into leadership studies. This volume addresses this issue by bringing together, for the first time, a set of prominent scholars from different paradigmatic and disciplinary perspectives to engage in dialogue regarding how to meet the challenges of relationality in leadership research and practice. Included are cutting edge thinking, heated debate, and passionate perspectives on the issues at hand. The chapters reveal the varied and nuanced treatments of relationality that come from authors’ alternative paradigmatic (entity, constructionist, critical) views. Dialogue scholars—reacting to the chapters—engage in spirited debate regarding the commensurability (or incommensurability) of the paradigmatic approaches. The editors bring the dialogue together with introductory and concluding chapters that offer a framework for comparing and situating the competing assumptions and perspectives spanning the relational leadership landscape. Using paradigm interplay they unpack assumptions, and lay out a roadmap for relational leadership research. A key takeaway is that advancing relational leadership research requires multiple paradigmatic perspectives, and scholars who are conversant in the assumptions brought by these perspectives. The book is aimed at those who feel that much of current leadership thinking is missing the boat in today’s complex, relational world. It provides an essential resource for all leadership scholars and practitioners curious about the nature of research on leadership, both those with much research exposure and those new to the field.
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