You are here


A Critical Text

Second Edition

March 2014 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
When Simon Western's Leadership text first published, it received rave reviews from students, academics and practising leaders and managers all over the world. Written in an accessible style, the book challenges the notion of the individual or hero leader. Western develops the idea of leadership as a distributed process and provides a new framework for understanding and implementing this.

Part one deconstructs leadership, providing a critical review and analysis of the key debates within leadership; part two reconstructs leadership, revealing the three dominant discourses of the Controller, Therapist and Messiah, and Eco-leadership discourse. Eco-leadership captures new leadership ideas and practices for twenty-first century organizations.  

This widely anticipated second edition has been updated in line with recent events and the latest practice and research, with end of chapter questions encouraging reflection on key issues.

This insightful and inspiring text draws on Western's diverse consulting experience, combining theory and practice to offer insights into the real challenges facing leaders today. It is ideal reading for MBA and postgraduate students of Leadership, OB and HRM as well as practising managers and leaders.

An electronic inspection copy is available for instructors.

Part One: Deconstructing Leadership
Chapter 1. Why A Critical Approach to Leadership
Chapter 2. What is Leadership?
Chapter 3 Asymmetric Leadership: A Brief Case Study
Chapter 4. Against Leadership: Autonomist Leadership
Chapter 5. Leadership and Diversity
Chapter 6. Leadership and Organizational Culture
Chapter 7: Corporate Fundamentalism
Part Two: Reconstructing Leadership
Chapter 8. The Four Discourses of Leadership
Chapter 9. The Controller Leadership Discourse
Chapter 10. The Therapist Leadership Discourse
Chapter 11. The Messiah Leadership Discourse
Chapter 12. The Eco-Leadership Discourse
Chapter 13. An Overview of the Leadership Discourses
Chapter 14. Leadership Formation: Creating Spaces for Leadership to Flourish
Chapter 15. Epilogue: Leadership in the Aftermath

'This book provides a unique and much needed voice to the field of leadership studies, and will have a significant impact worldwide' -
Professor Jonathan Gosling
Director of the Leadership Centre, Exeter University

'An outstanding addition to the Leadership literature. This is an excellent text which takes the field to new heights in the first decade of the 21st century' -
Professor Cary L. Cooper CBE
Profesor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Lancaster University

'In a highly original way, Dr Western helps us to obtain greater insight into the enigma of leadership. I recommend the book strongly for the reader interested in a book on leadership that goes beyond the obvious' -
Manfred Kets de Vries
Director, INSEAD Global Leadership Centre

An insightful, though-provoking and refreshing view on leadership issues.

Ms Irma Rybnikova
Business Administration, Technische Universitaet Chemnitz
September 2, 2017

Well written and relates effectively to the theory

Ms carol-anne westwell
Nursing & Midwifery, Bangor University
March 8, 2016

A good addition to critically analyse various approaches to leadership.

Dr Steve Swanson
Institute for Sport Business, Loughborough University
July 23, 2015

very good book and discuss traditional and modern theories well.

Mrs Navjot Virk
Nursing, Counselling & Psychotherapy, Derby University
June 24, 2015

An excellent supplementary reader to stretch undergraduates and provide a critical edge to our leadership module. I recommend this book to undergraduate and postgraduates.

Mrs Janette Hurst
Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University
June 22, 2015

I have modelled two new courses around this book, dividing the content over two course units, one in year two of a BA degree programme and one in year three. The book is exactly what I had been looking for in terms of its problematisation of much of the leadership literature which is highly normative and functional. A splendid find.

Mr Steve Courtney
Manchester Institute of Education, Manchester University
May 14, 2015

Particularly interested in the chapter on Eco-leadership.

Mrs Jela Webb
Brighton Business School, Brighton University
May 13, 2015

This book offers an excellent framework for reflecting on models of leadership, and presents four dominant discourses of current leadership. It would, of course, be an excellent source text for courses focused primarily on leadership but offers rather too detailed a viewpoint for the purposes of my own teaching and trainees.

Mr Tim Cooke
Doctoral Programme in Educational Psychology, Southampton University
March 20, 2015

Very good. It will be adopted as recommended book for assignments

Dr Alexandros Psychogios
Hull University Business School, The University of Hull
March 11, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 12 The Eco-Leadership Discourse

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Purchasing options

Please select a format: