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A Critical Text

Third Edition

Other Titles in:
Leadership | Leadership

March 2019 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In this original text, Simon Western deconstructs and reconstructs leadership to challenge the popular notion of the individual or hero leader, instead using his own framework to present leadership as a distributed process.

New to the third edition:

  • A new chapter on leadership symptoms that offers a novel approach to researching and conceptualizing leadership.
  • An expanded chapter on “Leadership and Diversity” with Pooja Sachdev.
  • Updated material on “The Eco-Leadership Discourse”, with the chapter now differentiating between ethical eco-leadership and commercial eco-leaders (e.g Facebook, Google, Amazon).
  • Analysis of contemporary leadership trends, including leadership in the gig economy, algorithmic management, and the rise in messiah and authoritarian leadership in populist parties.
  • Updated case studies with references to current politicians and organizations.


Part One: Deconstructing Leadership
Chapter 1: Why A Critical Approach to Leadership?
Chapter 2: What is Leadership?
Chapter 3: The Plurality Of Leadership: A Case Study
Chapter 4: Against Leadership: Autonomist Leadership
Chapter 5: Leadership and Diversity
Chapter 6: Leadership and Organizational Culture
Chapter 7: Corporate Fundamentalism
Part Two: Reconstructing Leadership
Chapter 8: The Four Discourses of Leadership
Chapter 9: The Controller Leadership Discourse
Chapter 10: The Therapist Leadership Discourse
Chapter 11: The Messiah Leadership Discourse
Chapter 12: The Eco-Leadership Discourse
Chapter 13: An Overview of the Leadership Discourses
Chapter 14: Leadership Formation: Creating Spaces for Leadership to Flourish
Chapter 15: Seeking Leadership Symptoms
Chapter 16: Epilogue

This very engaging book brings a welcome critical dimension, as well as highlighting a number of relevant contemporary issues informing and influencing leadership theories and practices, which resonates for the very diverse PG cohorts and their aspirations. A must read

Ms Marilia Angove
Glamorgan Business School, University of South Wales (Glamorgan)
June 4, 2019

Interesting and relevant topics discussed - author explains his background which supports the credibility of his critical analysis and interesting concepts

Mrs Laura Castles
Management, Torfaen Training
April 17, 2019

This book is a great read. It encompasses past and present thinking on this topical subject.

Mrs Jacqueline Taylor
Department of Education, Newman University
September 17, 2019

An important reading material for students with a definitive structure that guides the student through the process of leadership.

Mr Michael Donaldson
Care Humatities and sport, North Glasgow Collge
December 19, 2019

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ISBN: 9781526459527

ISBN: 9781526459510