Title: Relational Leadership
Authors: Ann L Cunliffe and Matthew Eriksen
Abstract: This article aims to extend contemporary work on relational leadership theory by conceptualizing leadership as embedded in the everyday relationally-responsive dialogical practices of leaders. Relational leadership requires a way of engaging with the world in which the leader holds herself/himself as always in relation with, and therefore morally accountable to others; recognizes the inherently polyphonic and heteroglossic nature of life; and engages in relational dialogue. This way of theorizing leadership also has practical implications in helping sensitize leaders to the importance of their relationships and to features of conversations and everyday mundane occurrences that can reveal new possibilities for morally-responsible leadership. We develop and illustrate the notion of relational leadership by drawing on the work of Bakhtin and Ricoeur, and on an empirical study of Federal Security Directors.
“Samuel hurried in and grabbed the first seat available. Having quickly sat down he slowly looked up. What was going to happen? To his relief the group leader welcomed him to the meeting as did others. “
What makes leadership “good enough”?
“…the “good enough” leader (GEL), like the “good enough” mother, does not try to be obsessively and compulsively
perfect, machine-like, in his or her attunement with and response to the organisation…The “good enough” style of leadership contrasts with two culturally widespread and familiar styles of leadership…“hard” and “soft.”
Trust at Work: What it Means for Identity
“What has been referred to as generalized trust has been advanced as a condition for self-identity and the absence of such trust has been found to lead to a corroded sense of self…This study advances the idea that trust may play a similar role in organizations…”