When Simon Western's Leadership text first published, it received rave reviews from students, academics and practising leaders and managers all over the world.

Written in an accessible style, the book challenges the notion of the individual or hero leader. Western develops the idea of leadership as a distributed process and provides a new framework for understanding and implementing this.

Part one deconstructs leadership, providing a critical review and analysis of the key debates within leadership, part two reconstructs leadership, revealing the three dominant discourses of the controller, therapist and messiah, and a new chapter on eco-leadership develops ideas for a new leadership in 21st century organizations.

This widely anticipated second edition has been completely updated in line with recent events and the latest practice and research. End of chapter questions encourage reflection and a new epilogue which brings together the core messages of the book.

This insightful and inspiring text draws on Western's diverse consulting experience, combining theory and practice to offer insights into the real challenges facing leaders today. It is ideal reading for MBA and postgraduate students of Leadership, OB and HRM as well as practising managers and leaders.

The Leader as Messiah

The leader as messiah


The Leader as Controller discourse was successful in terms of improving production but faded as it alienated workers. The need for a more engaged workforce, changing modes of production and social advances led to the Leader as Therapist discourse. The Therapist discourse set a leadership culture which focused on emotionally and psychologically engaged workers, linking motivation to production. However, the late twentieth century brought new challenges of the global market place, technological and communication advances and changing social conditions which meant that a new leadership discourse was required to lift Western economies which were being overtaken by Japanese and Asian Tiger economies. The Therapist character was unable to find the power to meet these challenges and a new ...

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