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Call for Papers Special Issue: Multi-Level Leadership for Collective Good

The Leiden Leadership Centre (Leiden University), the Centre for Leadership Ethics and Organisation (Queen's University Belfast) and the Journal of Change Management will be organising a symposium and a special issue on multi-level leadership for the collective good. The complexity and dynamics of societal challenges require us to revisit our perspectives on leadership in all layers of society, government, and business. Please find below the call for papers.

Please note that the deadline is extended to 15 December. Submit your abstract via this link.

The complexity of today’s local and global challenges requires us to look critically at the role of leadership in society, government, business, and national and international networks (Chambers et al., 2010; Ghoshal, 2005; Wilson & McCalman, 2017; Clegg et al., 2021; Crevani et al 2021).

To date, the study of leadership has been criticised for:

  • Being too concerned with formal leaders and too little with leadership (Rost, 1993). Rather than focusing on a small and selective group of people, we are seeking to understand the leadership capabilities and behaviours of many to address the complexity of issues at hand.
  • Being too focused on effectiveness as an outcome, rather than on purpose (By, 2021). To address the wicked challenges we are facing, such as a pandemic threats or environmental emergencies, both economic and social goals need to be taken into account when researching leadership (e.g. Maak et al., 2021, Avolio & Gardner, 2005).
  • Lacking contextual considerations (Oc, 2018; Dinh et al, 2014). Without understanding the context in which leadership acts, is shaped and vice versa shapes context we are groping in the dark about the true nature and use of leadership.
  • Lacking multilevel approaches and analyses (Batistic et al, 2017; Vogel & Masal, 2015). Although we understand the issues and challenges are complex and multi-faceted in themselves, we lack a sound theoretical and empirical basis to see the leadership to address these as a multi-level phenomenon.

This symposium and special issue calls for papers to investigate the macro, meso and micro level characteristics of leadership as well as their interactions to make a difference for the collective good.

We are seeking for papers that investigate leadership empirically and theoretically across and within societies, sectors and organisations (public and private) dealing with collective problems. We invite authors from a variety of fields and disciplines to present their empirical and theoretical contributions to allow for comparison and theory development regarding reconceptualization’s of multi-level leadership and its potential to create purposeful change for collective good.

Among the questions we hope to answer:

  1. What are the multi-level, multi-facet and multi-dimensional characteristics of leadership in addressing global and societal challenges? In this we align ourselves to definitions of leadership ‘as a process rather than a role’ and in relation to the collective exercise of agency to address complex and intractable problems (Clegg et al, 2021).
  2. How does leadership emerge at multiple levels in society, organizations and networks and how does it interact?
  3. In what manner can we contribute to the development of multi-level leadership practices and multi-level leadership theory with purpose or the collective good at its centre, with particular reference to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?

This call seeks to explore these debates and related questions further, first through a Symposium in 12th May 2022 at Queens Management School in Belfast (UK) with an opportunity for papers to be considered for a Special Issue of the Journal of Change Management: Reframing Leadership and Organizational Practice to follow. The Symposium will be preceded by a dinner on the 11th for attendees and is aimed to foster the debate and provide further inputs for the development of the work. Submissions to the Special Issue are not limited to contributors of the Symposium.

Submission Process

The deadline for Symposium abstracts is extended to 15th December 2021. Abstracts should be no more than 600 words. Please submit your abstract via this link.

In accordance with the Journal’s standards, the approximate length of the manuscripts would be between 6,000 to 8,500 words. Papers should be submitted as an email attachment to both guest editors with the subject heading ‘JCM - Symposium and Special Issue – Multi-Level Leadership for Collective Good’. Submissions should follow the general guidelines of the Journal of Change Management: Reframing Leadership and Organizational Practice, and must include a MAD statement. Refereeing and the selection of papers will be conducted according to the Journal’s normal procedures (double-blind, peer review). Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. The expected date of publication of the special issue is mid 2023.

Key dates

  • 15th December    Deadline for symposium abstracts
  • 1st January        Confirmation of selected abstracts
  • 11th April           Deadline for full symposium papers
  • 11-12 May          Special Issue Symposium at Queens Management School (Belfast, UK)
  • 1st August          Full paper deadline for the special issue

Authors’ guidelines can be found here.

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