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.