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Hero takes a fall: A lesson from theatre for leadership

Biehl-Missal, Brigitte (2010) 'Hero takes a fall: A lesson from theatre for leadership.' Leadership, 6 (3). 279 - 294. ISSN 1742-7150

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Abstract

<jats:p> Comparing leaders to actors has a long tradition, and researchers and practitioners in the organizational field have tried to learn lessons from theatre. For developing this approach, this article takes an interdisciplinary theatre studies perspective and discusses how leaders in organizations compare to actors in the theatre. It makes the assertion that the actor’s role in (dramatic, epic and postdramatic) theatre over several historic epochs can be seen as a complementary, opposed practice that confronts and challenges audiences rather than ‘playing to them’. Theatre does not provide us with ideal or charismatic leader characters but, quite the opposite, teaches us about contentious and problematic heroes. Theatre presents a fundamental disrespect for tenability and positive affirmation and may offer more critical ideas about aesthetic interaction, leadership performance and leader-follower interaction. This illustrates that aesthetic features do not alone turn leadership into an art. ‘Leadership as an art’ through this lens includes critical interaction through increased aesthetic awareness from the viewpoint of followers. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 10 May 2013 18:54
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/6175

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