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Leadership: a critical construction

Berry, Anthony J. and Cartwright, Susan (2000) Leadership: a critical construction. Leadership and organization development journal, 21 (7). pp. 342-349. ISSN 0143-7739

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Abstract

The study of leadership or leader behaviour and the formation of leaders is a constant fascination and part of the agenda of this journal. This article sets out to argue for a richer framing of these studies to include society and organisations as well as psychology and personality. Reviews the way in which corporate leadership is caught up in wider societal understandings and suggests that the narrow goal of the principal and agent model is unsustainable. From the admission of the idea of institutionalisation of leaders, argues that it would be necessary to extend the study field to include social theory as well as critical social theory as this latter illuminates the way things are taken to be. The knowledge of leader formation has been shown to be limited and it is argued for a multidisciplinary extension to formation studies that contextualises leadership formation in social and organisational processes.

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