Complexity and Leadership: Complexity and Management Series

Emma Crewe (Editor), Kiran Chauhan (Editor), Chris Mowles (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


eading organisations in our contemporary world means grappling with unpredictability, painful pressures and continual conflict, all in the context of an acceleration in the pace of change. We expect the impossible from heroic leaders and they rarely live up to expectations. With countless recommendations, self-help books and new concepts, scholars and management consultants often simplify and dream unrealistically. This book challenges the more orthodox discourse on leadership and presents a way of thinking about leadership that pays closer attention to experience.

The contributors in this book, all senior managers or facilitators of leadership development, resist easy solutions, new typologies or unrealistic prescriptions. Writing about their experiences in Denmark, the UK, Israel, Ethiopia, South Africa and beyond, they are less concerned with traits that people can possess and learn, or magical promises of recipes for success, and more with the socio-political process of the interaction between people from which leadership emerges as a theme. We focus on understanding leadership as a practice within which communication, research, imagination and ethical judgements are continuously improvised. So rather than idealising leadership, or reducing it to soothing tools and techniques, we suggest how leaders might become more politically, emotionally and socially savvy.

This book is written for academics and practitioners with an interest in the everyday challenges of both individual and group practices of formal and informal leaders in different types of organisations, and is an ideal resource for executives and students on leadership development programmes. We hope this volume will help readers to expand the wisdom found in their own experience and discover for themselves and for others, a greater sense of freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781003092230
ISBN (Print)9780367551599
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2022


  • complexity
  • leadership
  • complex responsive processes


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