Speculative leadership: using a radical Hegel to reinterpret practice in local government
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date21/06/2024
This thesis begins by reviewing the author’s published work, which sought to describe and account for the nature of leadership in local government, based on long-term engagement with socio-professional networks of UK Chief Executives. Beginning with the contradictions that lie at the heart of the Chief Executive's role, it distils and explores some of the key themes of the decentred leadership that work identified, including relationality, reflexivity and institutional reform. The thesis goes on to articulate an alternative theoretical framework for leadership, one which is more clearly grounded in philosophy and so forms a more resilient basis for practice. In doing so, it draws on a radical Hegelian tradition to provide an exposition of leadership in which speculative reason and the struggle for recognition become resources with which leaders might form imperfect, temporary yet effective strategies in confronting the dilemmas they face.