Issues in Leadership: A Study of Select Shakespearean

Shahida, . (2012) Issues in Leadership: A Study of Select Shakespearean
PhD thesis.



In the last few decades, we have witnessed the inclusion of Literature in a variety of disciplines. ‘Multidisciplinary studies’ and ‘multiculturalism’ being key terms in the
academia—chiefly in the Humanities and the Social Sciences—various academic disciplines have started strengthening their syllabi in this direction. Sociology, Anthropology and History, for example, derive a lot of references from the literary world to contextualize histories forgotten or rewritten. So does the newly-developed discipline of Leadership Studies.Leadership Studies has emerged as a distinct field of academic study in the last few decades. The scope of the study is multi-disciplinary, and it focuses on leadership in the context of organisations and in human life (Bass and Stogdill, 1990). It is a discipline which draws a lot of references from a host of fields such as
Psychology, Management, Sociology, Education, Literature, etc. Each discipline has something unique to contribute to the understanding of the concept of leadership, leaders and leading (Ciulla, 2011). In the past, Leadership Studies was divided into sub-groups such as business leadership, educational leadership and political leadership—specifically involving a single-disciplinary approach. But in the 1980s,
with a relative lack of plurality, the single-disciplinary approach to the pedagogy of leadership was rejected and multidisciplinary approaches became a trend in the study
of leadership (Rost, 1993). In academic circles, in business classrooms, we have started witnessing the introduction of literary texts for the study of leadership. This dissertation argues that a single-discipline approach to the study of leadership fails to strengthen the critical
pedagogy. It reads Shakespearean tragedies and focuses on inclusion of literary texts, such as Shakespeare’s, in the discipline. It explores a few Shakespearean tragedies—
chiefly Julius Caesar (1599), King Lear (1605), Macbeth (1606), Hamlet (1600-01), Othello (1603-04) and Antony and Cleopatra (1606)—in the light of issues concerning leadership that the discipline has attempted to address in the present decades. While I begin by emphasizing a traditional approach of the defence of literary texts, i.e., literary texts help in developing different perspectives and
understanding multiple issues in leadership, I also analyse Shakespearean tragedies in the light of issues such as narcissistic leadership, role of emotions and passions in
leading, the dilemma of ethical leadership and explore the concepts of good and evil in leading. I take a social constructionist stand for leadership model and take examples from the modern world to compare literary representations with contemporary leadership scenario. Hence, though at the outset, part of the dissertation seems to be ‘traditional’ in the strictest sense of the term, I argue that including Shakespearean tragedies not only helps us understand problems in leading, it also offers, in principle, a multidisciplinary approach to the discipline of Leadership Studies. The study concludes with an emphasis on the need for a holistic approach towards the understanding of leadership. The research method consists of interpretation of primary texts by William Shakespeare in the light of issues in leadership put forward in the present decades. I
also use historical, philosophical and biographical texts in order to establish that Shakespearean tragedies are helpful in understanding problems in leading and in drawing parallels from modern-day scenario. I support my argument with a significant number of texts, critical essays, and books on Leadership Studies and also criticism on Shakespearean plays.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Leadership, Tragedies, Narcissism, Emotions, Good and evil
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Literary and Cultural studies
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:4554
Deposited By:Hemanta Biswal
Deposited On:09 May 2013 17:16
Last Modified:09 May 2013 17:16
Supervisor(s):Mohanty, S

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