Tag Archives: Authentic Leadership

Searching For Mandela: What a Study of Mandela Tells Us About Studying Leaders – by Joanne Ciulla

March 28, 2014


Nelson Mandela Statue in London

photo credit: Carl Milner via Flickr cc

For the past 12 years I have had the pleasure of editing the New Horizons in Leadership Studies series for Edward Elgar. The aim of our series is to publish genuinely new ideas, perspectives, and approaches to the study of leadership. I was very pleased when Donna Ladkin and Chellie Spiller proposed doing a critical collection of original papers on authentic leadership, Authentic Leadership: Clashes, Convergences, and Coalescences. While there was quite a bit of mainstream literature on authentic leadership, Ladkin and Spiller’s book offered new approaches and formats for critically examining the conventional idea of authentic leadership.

I have always been skeptical about the usefulness of constructs such as authentic leadership in part because they often claim admired iconic leaders as exemplars of their theories. When Ladkin and Spiller invited me to write an article for their collection, I thought that it would be a nice opportunity to write a piece that illustrated the limitations of authentic leadership using an in depth study of Nelson Mandela.


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When Does Acting Authentically become Plain Old Obstinacy? – by Donna Ladkin and Chellie Spiller

October 31, 2013


Federal Government Shutdown sign

photo credit: NPCA Photos via Flickr cc

We’ve been watching the recent shut-down of the US government from a distance, being an American living in the UK, and a New Zealander with close US links.  As we observed the various arguments and driving of ideological stakes into the ground we’ve been wondering how many of the protagonists in this ‘war of wills’ feel they are working from their ‘true, authentic’ self? […]

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