Discursive Leadership: In Conversation with Leadership Psychology presents a new, groundbreaking way for scholars and graduate students to examine and explore leadership. Differing from a psychological approach to leadership which tries to get inside the heads of leaders and employees, author Gail Fairhurst focuses on the social or communicative aspects between them. A discursive approach to leadership introduces a host of relatively new ideas and concepts and helps us understand leadership’s changing role in organizations.

Material Mediations1

Material mediations

Since the early 1980s, charisma has weighed heavily in mainstream leadership theory2 With intellectual roots in Weber (1968) and Burns (1978), charismatic (Conger & Kanungo, 1987; House, 1977; Shamir, House, & Arthur, 1993) and transformational (Bass, 1985, 1990) leadership theories have emerged as the ‘neo-charisma’ approaches.3 The differences among these theories are testimony to the enduring elusiveness of charisma as a phenomenon.4 For example, Conger and Kanungo (1988,1998) locate charisma in the attributions of extraordinary qualities by followers. In Bass's (1990) transformational leadership theory, charisma is roughly equivalent to possession of an organizational vision. Graham (1991) depicts House's (1977) view of charisma as “personal celebrity charisma” because of his focus on leaders' personality characteristics. Later versions by Shamir, House, and colleagues define ...

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