Making Sense of Leadership Development: Reflections on my Role as a Leader of Leadership Development Interventions [article]

Kevin Paul Flinn, UH Research Archive, UH Research Archive
This thesis examines my experience of leading leadership development. During the last three years I have been researching my role as Head of Leadership and Organisational Development at the University of Hertfordshire (UH), with a view to making sense of and rethinking leadership and approaches to leadership development more generally. This thesis considers how my own thinking and practice has changed and developed as a consequence of paying attention to and reflecting on personal experience,
more » ... ilst at the same time locating my sense-making in the broader academic scholarship. Narrative accounts of the significant incidents and interactions that I have participated in during the past three years have been shared verbally with the participants on the programmes that I lead, and explored more extensively in written form with colleagues in the learning community on the Doctorate in Management (DMan) programme at UH, as a means of intensifying my sense-making and its generalisability to a community of engaged enquirers. My research was prompted by disillusionment with the dominant discourse on leadership and leadership development based as it is on theories, frameworks, tools and techniques that privilege a form of autonomous, instrumental rationality and deceptive certainty that did not reflect the social, non-linear, uncertain day-to-day realities faced by me and the managers with whom I worked. In this thesis, I draw on my experiences as a manager, leader of leadership development, and a student of leadership development, to problematise the mainstream managerialist conceptions of leadership and organisation that are now part of the organisational habitus (Bourdieu, 1977) in the UK. The rise and naturalisation of managerialist ideology across the private, public, and charitable sectors in the UK makes it an inordinately difficult perspective to contest without risking some form of exclusion. I contend that my experience of attempting to encourage radical doubt and enquiry rather than the mindless acceptance and ap [...]
doi:10.18745/th.13884 fatcat:jj32i2p4rndupl5ow543hn2u24