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The Leadership Imagination

An Introduction to Taxonomic Leadership Analysis Donald R. LaMagdeleine, former university administrator and department chair at the University of Saint Thomas, US. He is currently a Professor there in the School of Education.
In the interest of reimagining leadership as a highly contextual activity with moral overtones, LaMagdeleine argues for blending sociology and history of religions scholarship in leadership analysis of black swan leadership dilemmas. His analysis introduces the term “leadership imagination” to describe the resulting approach.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $110.00 Web: $99.00
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78536 138 8
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  • Business and Management
  • Business Ethics and Trust
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Leadership
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
The field of leadership studies needs theory and research techniques that balance conventional science with the arts and humanities in order to capture leadership’s moral dimension. Borrowing from Aristotle’s account of the three types of knowledge, the author argues that leadership is an in-between form that combines craft-based skill with theoretical knowledge adapted for a specific situation’s unique characteristics.

The book discusses three sociology traditions and a distinctive variety of the history of religions while synthesizing their core premises. The resulting hybrid enables leadership analysis that emphasizes power dynamics cloaked in quasi-mythic discourse. The author labels this perspective the “leadership imagination”, and its mode of analysis “taxonomic leadership analysis”. The book includes methodological tips on how to construct such analysis and two case study chapters that exemplify it. While the example analyses concern leadership issues at the national and international levels, the approach works equally well with individual organizations.

LaMagdeleine’s non-conventional approach to leadership and management makes this an enlightening study for graduate students in leadership and business programs, and provides new analytic tools for students and faculty conducting research in business ethics and policy studies.
Contents: 1. What this Book is About and Why 2. Reimaging Leadership 3. Durkheim on the Origins of Knowledge and Culture 4. Organizations as Micro-rituals, Taxonomic Myth, and Embedded Power 5. Tips for Constructing Taxonomic Leadership Analysis 6. How US Societal Shifts Rendered Public School Desegregation Moot 7. Global Fundamentalist Violence, Islamic and Otherwise 8. Parting Thoughts on Applying the Leadership Imagination in Leadership Analysis Index