chapter  7
16 Pages

The Drama of Leadership

The intuition motivating these excursions into social theory was that the research, theory and teaching of leadership had fallen behind advances in social theory. Despite the advances in the literature on leadership, I felt we had still many landscapes to explore. During each excursion I found many new insights into the phenomenon of leadership. As my journeys continued, moreover, I began to discern a theme running throughout them, namely the theme of drama. Not only was I encountering dramaturgical terminology such as role and script, plot and play, but I was also perceiving a dynamic agency where the stakes were high, where the outcome was uncertain, where there were underlying struggles over human values. In the duality of agency and structure, in charismatic invention, in dramas of domination, I was seeing the human comedy and tragedy unfold. The excursion into postmodern literature only served to confirm this conviction. It remained to study the theories on social life as drama in order to deepen my understanding and gain greater facility with dramaturgical language. Although the preceding chapters have attempted to draw out implications for leadership from each of the perspectives under study, there seems now the possibility of a synthesis. This chapter attempts to describe the drama of leadership.