chapter  10
Critical Leadership Theorizing and Local Government Practice
Pages 19

This chapter seeks to develop a more critical approach to researching, conceptualizing, and practicing leadership in organizations by drawing on feminist poststructuralist perspectives in an exploration of leaders and leadership in local government. Central to this more critical approach is the impact of contextual and social factors; the recognized partiality of accounts of leadership and an understanding of the complexity and intertwining of selves within work settings. This study seeks to add to the emergent theoretical and more critical debate about the lives and experiences of managers charged with the tasks of leadership in organizations, and aims to contribute to the fi eld in two fundamental ways. Firstly, it seeks to develop a more critical approach to the study of leadership, one that is informed by an exploration of biographical narratives and interpretations of these narratives that enable an examination of gendered understandings of the selves that these managers portray. Secondly, it seeks to use ideas informed by feminist poststructural theories to explore the taken for granted assumptions and asymmetries that belie mainstream literature within this fi eld.