Rethinking global leadership development programmes:the interrelated significance of power, context and identity

Gagnon, Suzanne and Collinson, David (2014) Rethinking global leadership development programmes:the interrelated significance of power, context and identity. Organization Studies, 35 (5). pp. 645-670. ISSN 0170-8406

PDF (Rethinking LDPs Collinson Accepted Manuscript_Open Access Lancaster Unversity Managemen...)
Rethinking_LDPs_Collinson_Accepted_Manuscript_Open_Access_Lancaster_Unversity_Managemen....pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


Organization studies scholars have examined leadership development processes on only a handful of occasions. This paper argues that an organizational lens, rather than individualized and decontextualized research, can significantly advance this under-theorized field. A critical organizational framing, in particular, assists not only in problematizing the ‘leader’ identities produced within contemporary leadership development programmes (LDPs), but also in surfacing the ways in which power, context and identity can be inextricably linked within specific practices. The article contributes to critical leadership and organization studies in three main ways. First, it theorizes through a critical identity lens the regulatory practices that constitute an idealized leader self in two separate global LDPs, and which create tensions and paradoxes rarely examined in studies of LDPs and organizations more generally. Second, it examines participants’ considerable resistance to the prevailing models of global leader prescribed in the two programmes. Third, our dual case analysis highlights the role of discursive context, enabling us to compare two particular strategies of leadership development through identity regulation: ‘investiture’ and ‘divestiture’. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of this analysis for rethinking theory and practice, and suggests future research directions for critical organization studies of leadership and LDPs.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Organization Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Feb 2014 09:18
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 00:47