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Studying Leadership

Studying Leadership
Traditional and Critical Approaches

Second Edition
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December 2017 | 480 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Now in its Second Edition, Studying Leadership continues to provide a comprehensive overview of the key theories, topics, research debates and major developments in the field of leadership studies.

Split into three parts, the book covers the traditional and mainstream theories on leadership; the main topics and perspectives explored in leadership research, and the recent trends in leadership studies such as gender and diversity, ethics, sustainability, language and identity.

The new edition features a chapter on “Researching Leadership” and includes extended case studies to enhance learning and support students with their dissertations and research projects.

The book is complemented by a companion website featuring a range of tools and resources for lecturers and students, including chapter specific multiple-choice questions, case studies, videos with critical thinking questions and discussion questions, free SAGE journal articles, PowerPoint slides and an instructor’s manual.

Suitable reading for students on leadership courses across a range of subjects including Business & Management, Health and Education.

Introduction – Mapping Different Approaches to Studying Leadership
Part I: Traditional Approaches to Leadership
Chapter 1. Leadership and Management
Chapter 2. Leadership Competencies: Traits, Personality, Skills, Styles and Intelligences
Chapter 3. Contingency and Leader-Member Exchange Theories of Leadership
Chapter 4. Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
Part II: Current Issues in Leadership
Chapter 5. Perspectives on Leadership Context
Chapter 6. Followership, Psychoanalytic and Relational Approaches to Leadership
Chapter 7. Leadership and Power
Chapter 8. Strategic Leadership and Leading Change
Chapter 9. Distributed Leadership
Chapter 10. Leadership and Culture
Chapter 11. Leadership Learning and Development
Part III: Critical Issues in Leadership
Chapter 12. Leadership, Gender and Diversity
Chapter 13. Leadership, Ethics and Toxicity
Chapter 14. Leadership, Language and Identity
Chapter 15. Leadership, Arts and Aesthetics
Chapter 16. Researching Leadership
Epilogue - The Future of Leadership Studies
Appendix - Case Studies


Click for online resources

To access exclusive videos that accompany this book, please see the code on the inside front cover of your copy, as well as instructions on how to use it.


  • Instructor's Manual
  • PowerPoint Slides


  • Videos with Critical Thinking Questions 
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Chapter Summaries
  • Learning Objectives
  • Videos with Discussion Questions
  • Links to free SAGE journal articles

Studying Leadership provides comprehensive reviews of the leadership literature, including traditional, contemporary and critical approaches to leadership. The text includes some excellent material for students and lecturers wanting to explore social aspects of leadership. Case studies provide  fascinating insights into the nature of leadership within different organization settings. 

Richard P. Winter
The Australian National University

A distinct introduction to the multifaceted field of leadership research. Its uniqueness lies in providing a critical and questioning approach to the subject, which encourages students to look beyond traditional theories and concepts and towards engaging with contemporary developments in the field.

Johan Alvehus
Lecturer, Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University

A thorough coverage and introductory text for new students of leadership studies

Dr Malcolm North
Leadership Studies, University Of Central Arkansas
October 1, 2019

Good source and starting place for critical leadership studies. Great online resources.

Mr Ian Jenner
Department of Management, Manchester Metropolitan University
July 11, 2018

A great book that provides a basic introduction to different theories on leadership. As well it addresses the role of leadership in relation to many areas of organisational development that are often addressed separately, i.e cultural, the arts, etc.

Warmly recommended!

Dr Kristen Snyder
Quality Management, Mid Sweden University
November 15, 2018

have adopted this as one of the core texts for the Global leadership and practice Module for this academic year.

Dr Nceku Nyathi
Faculty of Business and Law, De Montfort University
September 20, 2019

This is a good foundation text for Masters students studying leadership. Its a clear and concise text on traditional and critical approaches. A valuable textbook.

Ms Connie Nolan
The Business School (Canterbury), Canterbury Christ Church University
April 16, 2018

This is an interesting book which covers many key theories relating to leadership styles and approaches. A useful addition to the module which will assist the students to understand the theories associated with leadership and management.

Mr Stuart Woodcock
Department of Law, Chester University
June 20, 2018

This book is easy to use as it simplifies complex ideas. The supporting resources are also very useful for teaching purposes.

Dr Greg Lopez
School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University - South St Campus
February 13, 2018

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 12: Gender, Diversity and Leadership