The dramatistic genre in leadership studies: Implications for research and practice
Sinha, P. N. (2010). The dramatistic genre in leadership studies: Implications for research and practice. Leadership, 6(2), 185-205.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3863
Since the late 1980s, leadership theorists and researchers have appreciated the significance of leaders as makers of meaning. While this understanding has stimulated a greater need to link leadership to organizational symbolism and organizational sense-making issues, the focus on these issues has resulted in not insignificant dissatisfaction with conventional approaches to the study of leadership. In response, this article proposes a complementary alternative focus for research and practice in the leadership area. It advances the use of the symbolic and relational aspects of leadership as highlighted in the three subgenres of dramatism namely: Kenneth Burke’s dramatism (life is drama), Erving Goffman’s dramaturgy (life is like drama ) and Victor Turner’s social drama (life and drama are interdependent ). There-after the article explores the key distinctions between the three sub-genres so as to identify their analytical as well as explanatory focus. Implications for leadership research and practice using the three subgenres are presented. The article closes with a discussion on the opportunities an integrated dramatistic approach might offer the general field of leadership.
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