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Evasion of boredom: An unexpected spur to leadership?

Abstract
Boredom has been largely omitted from the leadership literature, or dismissed as a problem, incongruent with effective leadership. Our research showed that the boredom discourse of senior managers engaged in a leadership development programme contrasted with their construction of challenge in leadership. In a second study, managers considered boredom to be a characteristic of followers not leaders, antithetical to leadership, and a problem to be solved through leader-initiated change. These managers therefore accepted a prevalent negative discourse on boredom and sought to respond to it not by reflecting on it but by initiating change. The experience and consideration of boredom may provide the impetus for creativity, risk-taking, curiosity and challenge-seeking, and may foster sustained and embedded individual and organizational learning. Attending to a more holistic range of phenomena and living with leadership ‘troughs’ as well as ‘peaks’ may ultimately create a more reflexive, resilient and agile leadership.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Carroll, B.J., Parker, P. & Inkson, K. (2010). Evasion of boredom: An unexpected spur to leadership? Human Relations, 63(7), 1031-1049.
Date
2010
Publisher
Sage
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
Publisher version