Leadership and governance: why didn’t we see the connection earlier?



A conference on leadership and governance raises the question: why didn’t we see the connection earlier?

Professor Brad Jackson & Dr Ljiljana Erakovic of The University of Auckland Business School have set up a conference stream integrating leadership and governance for the ninth APROS conference [Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies] scheduled for the exotic location of Monterrey, Mexico for December 2009

Call for Papers:

The fields of leadership and corporate governance have become domains of significant recent interest for academics and business practitioners alike. Often focusing on similar phenomena, they rarely interact or engage with each other. The net effect is that researchers in have not been actively considering the theoretical frameworks and empirical insights that they could mutually learn and gain from.

This stream has been created to begin the work of integration and cross-fertilization between corporate governance and leadership research efforts.

While corporate governance provides a structure for the relationships among organizational core stakeholders (e.g. shareholders, boards and managers), leadership provides the motivation and impetus to make corporate governance effective towards achieving the organization’s purpose and goals. In this respect, good leadership can ‘energize’ governance, while good governance can serve to sustain leadership.

The transition of board member roles from organizational controllers and monitors to organizational leaders has been welcomed as a positive development by many corporate governance commentators. Organizational stakeholders expect their governors (i.e. directors) to represent and respond–not just dictate results and define problems or command solutions. These expectations, which closely resemble leadership virtues, demonstrate a radical movement from orthodox components of governance (e.g. finance, strategy, facilities) to more powerful facets of governance.

‘Discovering’ governance as a leadership activity can enhance stakeholders’ trust and commitment to the organization. Moreover, it can serve to improve the effectiveness of governors.

Integrating Leadership and Governance promotes a novel interdisciplinary view by emphasizing complex roles that organisational leaders need to play in various environments. It is intended to appeal to both leadership and governance scholars. Indeed, bringing together these two traditionally isolated groups of scholars to engage in a mutually enriching discourse will be an important goal.

The value of individuals in developing social institutions and the cultural hybridization process are readily associated with leadership. We believe that governance can and should play an active role in fostering balance between economic, organizational and individual stakeholders’ demands, and that traditional approaches to governance can be invigorated by actively experimenting with contemporary leadership models and perspectives. To this end, this theme will promote research into multiple facets of leadership and governance from process (e.g. changing old and creating new governance forms), content (e.g. innovative governance practices; indigenous leadership in governance) and context (e.g. emergent economies, entrepreneurial firms) perspectives.

The convenors invite papers encompassing theoretical work, empirical study and critical reflection, which address the challenges, issues and opportunities that are posed by the integration of leadership and governance perspectives in the cause of strengthening cultural hybridism, salient stakeholders and new humanism in the study of organizations.

The research questions and topics may include the following:

* How might we conceptualize the integration of governance with leadership processes within the contemporary organization? How do these relate to management processes?
* What can the governance field learn from the leadership field and vice versa?
* To what extent are and should boards be responsible for providing and promoting creative and innovative leadership within the organization?
* How do leadership and governance processes interplay within different strategic and institutional contexts?
* How do existing governance theories fit in the context of emergent economies?
* What can be done to promote a more energetic engagement between governance and leadership processes? To what extent should and can these be kept separate? Does the unstable environment provide a specific milieu for such an engagement?
* Do environments with unstable structural characteristics and those with unique historical and cultural developments require specific combinations of governance structures and leadership styles?
* Who leads governance? Who governs leadership? What come first?
* What is the connection between the board effectiveness and board leadership style?
* How does teamwork in the boardroom ‘work’? Are leaderless boards really leaderless?
* What are the roles of boards in uncertain environments?
* How does a democratised governance structure shift the locus of leadership within organizations?
* How can leadership development and governance development activities be productively integrated?

Important dates:

Deadline for abstracts (800 words): 30 April 2009
Response by the organising committee and session chair : 30 May 2009
Deadline for full paper submission: 30 September 2009
Conference: Monterrey, Mexico, EGADE, December 6-9, 2009

Further details:

Further details be found at the Conference website:

Papers may be submitted to the APROS 2009 Organizing Committee care of: catya.martinez@itesm.mx

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