Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Business Schools; Identity Workspaces; Leadership Development; Management Education; System Psychdynamics;
This article examines how and why business schools might be complicit in a growing disconnect between leaders, people supposed to follow them, and the institutions they are meant to serve.The authors contend that business schools sustain this disconnect through a dehumanization of leadership that is manifested in the reduction of leadership to a set of skills and its elevation to a personal virtue. The dehumanization of leadership, the authors suggest, serves as a valuable defense against, but as poor preparation for, the ambiguity and precariousness of leadership in contemporary workplaces. This article proposes ways to humanize leadership by putting questions about the meaning of leadership—about its nature, function, and development—at the center of scholarly and pedagogical efforts. Reflecting on their attempts to do so, the authors argue that it involves revisiting not just theories and teaching methods but also our identities as scholars and instructors.