Chapter 1

Introduction to Discursive Leadership

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

This chapter will introduce you to the field of discursive leadership. Before doing so, however, it is helpful to begin with a shared definition of leadership to provide a ground of understanding from which we can build the discussion that follows. This chapter will also summarize what might be called traditional theories of leadership that have emerged from the management discipline. Again, having a shared understanding of how the field of leadership has developed to date is important for distinguishing how discursive leadership differs from dominant understandings of leadership. It will thus potentially ...

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