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Location: Leadership and Networks

Discussion: A new theory of leadershipReported This is a featured thread

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A new theory of leadership
Aug 31 2009, 12:18 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 31 2009, 1:03 PM EDT
Do we need a new theory of leadership that goes beyond an understanding of leadership as an influence relationship between leaders and followers? How do we explain how leadership emerges in networks and communities? What resources are you finding helpful in broadening and integrating your understanding of leadership? I recently read an article by Bill Drath and his colleagues at the Center for Creative Leadership that I would highly recommend if you are interested in developing a new theory of leadership. Direction, Alignment, Commitment: Toward a More Integrated Ontology of Leadership recently appeared in Leadership Quarterly, Issue 19 (2008). An author's copy is attached below this discussion thread. Drath et al. provide a theory for how leadership emerges through relationships and interactions among peers, where there is no asymmetrical influence relationships. I found his discussion one of the most illuminating I have read, although the language he uses is dense and needs translating to be really helpful to those of us in the field of leadership development. If you do read the paper I'd love to hear your reflections, and also what other resources you have found helpful. 3  out of 3 found this valuable. Do you?    

1. RE: A new theory of leadership
Aug 31 2009, 2:18 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 31 2009, 2:18 PM EDT
Claire, thanks for posting this very interesting article. I had seen articulations of the "Direction, Alignment, Commitment" (DAC) paradigm before, in other publications associated with the Center for Creative Leadership. I found it interesting but not compelling. But this paper brings makes an in-depth and very persuasive case for why a new paradigm is needed to replace the implicit "leader, follower, shared outcome" paradigm underlying most other leadership theories, and for why the DAC paradigm is a superior alternative. I have been looking for a framework to help me understand and integrate notions such as "collective leadership," "shared leadership," and "distributed leadership." I think this is it! I really appreciate your calling my attention to it. The only downside of the article is one you mention: it is dense (as anything with "ontology" in the title usually is!). But it's worth struggling with the language. And I think translation is possible. Do you find this valuable?    

2. RE: A new theory of leadership
Aug 31 2009, 9:13 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 31 2009, 9:13 PM EDT
For those looking for the attachment of the article mentioned in the post above, go to the Leadership and Networks Themes Overview page http://www.leadershipforanewera.com/page/Leadership+and+Networks The article is posted under Attachments at the bottom of the page. Do you find this valuable?    

3. Comments on the Drath, et. al. (2008) article
Sep 14 2009, 4:09 PM EDT | Post edited: Sep 14 2009, 4:09 PM EDT
Others commented on the academic nature of this article, so I made an attempt to bring it down a notch. However, the depth of material in the article required a post far beyond the character limit of a discussion, so I posted a Word document with a link here.

(I posted the material in Collective Leadership since it seems to better fit there than here where the discussion is more focused on networks of leadership.)
2  out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?    

4. RE: Comments on the Drath, et. al. (2008) article
Sep 15 2009, 9:29 AM EDT | Post edited: Sep 15 2009, 9:29 AM EDT
Ross, this is an extremely helpful and much-need summary. The Drath article merits a broader audience than it may earn, given the way it is written, but your summary makes it highly accessible, and useful even for those who take the trouble to read the origina.

Thanks for investing the time and energy to do this!
Do you find this valuable?    

5. Center for Ethical Leadership
Sep 25 2009, 3:50 PM EDT | Post edited: Sep 25 2009, 3:50 PM EDT
The Center for Ethical Leadership is on a similar path - collective leadership. There might be some areas of collaboration.
1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    

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