Leadership studies today resembles a bewildering diversity of theories, concepts, constructs and approaches, struggling in huge part for meaning, relevance and impact. As Dennis Tourish so eloquently puts it, much of the literature suffers from ‘unrelenting triviality’ and ‘sterile preoccupations’. Seeking to create a clean break from this current state of leadership studies, After Leadership begins with the premise of a post-apocalyptic world where only fragments of ‘leadership science’ now remain, echoing Alisdair McIntyre’s imagining of such a scene as the basis for re-establishing the foundations and focus of moral theory. From these fragments, the authors seek to construct a new leadership studies that challenges much of the established thinking on leadership, exposes its limitations and biases, and, most importantly, seeks to construct the foundations of a more inclusive, participatory, bold, relational and social platform for leadership in the future.
After Leadership thus imagines a brave new world where what leadership is and what we seek from it can be developed anew, rather than remaining bound up in the problematic traditions and preoccupations that characterise leadership studies today.
Offering both full length chapter explorations that explore new ways of understanding and practicing leadership, as well as shorter essays that aim to provoke further reflection on leadership and what we seek of it, After Leadership offers a uniquely critical and creative collection that will inspire students, scholars and leadership educators to reconsider their understanding and practice of leadership.