Embodied leadership: A Perspective on Reciprocal Body Movement

Helen Payne, Pauliina Jääskeläinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the concept of embodied leadership and its ontological and epistemological underpinnings in educational and other organisational settings. Embodiment, derived from phenomenology, emphasises body-mind entanglement and the human body’s embeddedness in its cultural, historical, and social context. In this chapter, we explore what it means at the concrete level of body movements if we consider leadership as an embodied, relational phenomenon. To concretize these ideas, we use examples from dance movement therapy-based leadership facilitation. The purpose is to show how defining embodiment as reciprocal bodily movement in the ‘flesh’ of organisations can lead to a more holistic understanding of leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Leadership in Education
EditorsPhilip A. Woods, Amanda Roberts, Meng Tian, Howard Youngs
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK and USA
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781800880429
ISBN (Print)9781800880412
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2023


  • Embodiment
  • leadership development
  • experiential learning
  • phenomenology
  • dance movement therapy


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