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Bradford School of Management professor writes book on leadership to reflect contemporary debates


After becoming frustrated that there was not a suitable textbook for her course, an international expert in leadership at the University of Bradford School of Management set about writing one herself.

Jackie Ford, Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at Bradford School of Management, teamed up with Dr Brigid Carroll, of the University of Auckland, and Dr Scott Taylor, of the University of Birmingham, to write Leadership: Contemporary Critical Perspectives.

The book, which was recently shortlisted in the Management and Leadership Textbook category of the CMI Management Book of the Year Awards 2016, guides students through key concepts, contemporary issues and debates in leadership studies.

Prof Ford said: “It was borne out of a frustration that we couldn’t find a textbook we would like to give to our students to support and help their learning and guide their thinking that was a bit more up to date, while also critical of the taken-for-granted debates in the field.”

To bring theories to life the book uses case studies of various political and business leaders, including Tony Blair and Steve Jobs, as well as from leadership in the arts and gang culture.

The book includes a fully-accessible student resource with videos, journal articles and links to related content. Students also have access to a ‘Leadership on screen’ feature, which encourages analysis of how leadership is represented in film and television, including The Dark Knight, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games and Grey’s Anatomy.

Fellow University of Bradford School of Management academics, and , have also written chapters in the book.

A number of leading academics in their field have praised the book, including Prof Alison Pullen, of Macquarie University in Sydney.

She said: “The field of leadership has been waiting for Leadership: Critical Contemporary Perspectives. Putting power into the heart of leadership, this book will change the landscape of leadership in practice and convey the nuances and complexities of leadership thought.”

Prof Dennis Tourish, of University of London School of Management, said: “This excellent book provokes and inspires throughout. Conventional leadership theory has made its own contribution to our world's problems by encouraging leaders to concentrate too much power in their own hands. Contributors to this wise book challenge this approach, and offer radically fresh perspectives on numerous other issues as well. It will be impossible to look at leadership in the same way again.”

Leadership: Contemporary Critical Perspectives is published by Sage and available to buy online, where there is also a video of the authors discussing the book.

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