Shared Leadership Through Improvisational Theatre


In the leadership development sector, a gap exists between leadership theory and practice. Traditionally, leaders practise influence from the top. However, the knowledge and creative economy requires employees to practise lateral influence. This case puts forward an arts-based leadership pedagogy—an improvisational theatre approach, which allows students to engage reflexively about the shared leadership concept. The major focus of this approach is to develop shared leadership competencies by first watching improvisational theatre in action, then experiencing improvisation exercises in motion, reflecting on the winning features of improvisational and shared leadership, and contrasting these with the features of traditional leadership models. The premise of this case corroborates art-based leadership activities as a means to foster confidence and empower students to lead others through change.

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