…thoughts on and about my PhD journey and beyond…


In December I attended the 7th International Conference on Studying Leadership, hosted by the University of Auckland’s Excelerator Leadership Institute

The topic of the conference was of interest to me but so to the fact that this series of conferences had only ever been held in the UK prior to this one so it was also a great opportunity to meet and find out about the work of a new network of scholars.  The 2008 conference built on debates and discussions generated at the earlier conferences held at Oxford, Lancaster, Exeter, Cranfield and Warwick Universities in the UK. 

The theme was “The Locales of Leadership” and the aim was to discuss the context of leadership and most specifically the “place” within which it is theorised and practiced.  The conference sub themes were: Global and local ontologies and epistemologies of leadership; Leadership development:  technologies, praxis, and practice; Exogenous versus indigenous leadership; Self, subjectivity ad identity; Authenticity, inauthenticity and representation; Gender, androgyny and embodiment; Discourses, dialectics, cultures; Ethics, morality and ‘the greater good’, Methodologies for researching the context of leadership, and Cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to leadership

There were three keynote speakers.

Professor Amanda Sinclair— who is the Foundation Professor of Management Diversity and Change at Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne.  Professor Sinclair’s most recent book, Leadership for the Disillusioned (2007) explores different ways of “doing” leadership. She spoke about Identity Work:  Place, her place and our place individually in understanding leadership.  Prof Sinclair reminded us all that we have a responsibility to understand how place has influenced and influences us as leaders.

Mr. John Allen— the CEO of New Zealand Post shared his five characteristics of leadership:

1.  You can’t be a leader unless you are intellectually curious;

2.  Self awareness;

3.  Be a risk taker;

4.  Need character;

5.  Be accountable–when it’s good news, credit the team; when it’s bad news, it’s you, the leader

Dr. Manuka Henare–Associate Dean for Maori and Pacific Development of Auckland Business School and Director of the Mira Szaszy Research Centre for Maori and Pacific Economic Development officially welcomed conference attendees and provided valuable background about the Maori and Pacific culture in New Zealand.

Sage’s Leadership journal will publish a special issue from the conference in 2009.  This publication will be co-edited by the convenors of the ICSL, Professor Brad Jackson and Dr. Brigid Carroll.

The two meta themes that emerged were that we are now in the ‘post heroic’ era of leadership and that there is an increasing emphasis on ‘followership’ which confirmed for me that I am on the right track with my own studies.

2009 ICLS Conference

The University of Birmingham will host the 8th ICSL in December 2009.

To register your interest or learn more, go to www.leadership2009.bham.ac.uk.  The conference theme is Leadership in Crisis:  Moments, risks and opportunities and will explore two research themes:  the contextual–leading in and through crisis and the theoretical–exploring the parameters of leadership theory.  

For other conferences to be held in 2009 please click here for earlier posting. 

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