Call for Papers

Updated Version



Montreal, May 1-3, 2018

Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

A significant body of theory in collec􀆟ve leadership has been developed over the past decade,

challenging both the accuracy and efficacy of tradi􀆟onal models of individualized leadership. While

debate and development of theories of collec􀆟ve leadership are ongoing – touching on rela􀆟onal,

distributed, shared and prac􀆟ce-oriented frameworks for understanding this phenomenon – it is

􀆟mely and important to now bring the focus to empirical findings about collec􀆟ve leadership.

What do we know about collec􀆟ve leadership, from empirical work that has been done or is now

underway in this field?

The emphasis on ‘what we know’ builds upon previous Co-LEAD Net interna􀆟onal workshops, which

bring together 30-40 researchers at a 􀆟me to share work in progress, to debate across disciplines

and perspec􀆟ves, and to increase knowledge and iden􀆟fy emerging ques􀆟ons about the theory,

prac􀆟ce and impact of collec􀆟ve leadership. Workshops to date have focused on 1) Conceptual

ques􀆟ons (April 2014, NYU): How do we recognize and name forms of plural, rela􀆟onal and

collec􀆟ve leadership? 2) Pedagogical ques􀆟ons (April 2015, NYU): How can we shi􀅌 our teaching to

build students’ knowledge of and capacity for the new paradigm of collec􀆟ve leadership? and 3)

Methodological ques􀆟ons (September 2016): How do we design research agendas to see and

analyze collec􀆟ve forms of leadership in the field? The third workshop led to a call for papers for a

special issue of Human Rela􀆟ons, currently underway, on "Collec􀆟ve dimensions of leadership: The

challenges of connec􀆟ng theory and method." We expect that this fourth workshop will also result

in a journal special issue on findings from empirical research on collec􀆟ve leadership.

This call invites papers that address the following ques􀆟ons and issues: Empirical findings on

collec􀆟ve leadership. What do we know about how collec􀆟ve leadership works? The purpose of

the workshop is to share new results about when, where and how collec􀆟ve leadership emerges,

the forms that it takes, and the impacts that it produces in a variety of contexts. What condi􀆟ons

facilitate or hinder the emergence and impact of collec􀆟ve leadership? How does collec􀆟ve

leadership develop and unfold? How do specific factors– roles, the framing of problems or

opportuni􀆟es, the mul􀆟plicity of iden􀆟􀆟es, power dynamics, informa􀆟on, or other features – come

into play in collec􀆟ve leadership? What are the costs and benefits of collec􀆟ve leadership, for

example in terms of resources, impacts, or 􀆟meframes? (How) does collec􀆟ve leadership coexist

with plural or individual leadership?


Diverse contexts. We are specifically interested in bringing together researchers whose work

represents empirical se􀆫ngs in and across different sectors (e.g., corpora􀆟ons, government, NGOs),

focal areas (e.g. health care, entrepreneurial ventures, art, public services, professional services,

social issues), and cultural se􀆫ngs and regions. We are interested in diverse forms of ini􀆟a􀆟ves,

including, for example, hybrid or so-called “fourth sector” organiza􀆟ons of funding mechanisms,

community task forces, or public-private partnerships. The workshop will create opportuni􀆟es for

cross-sec􀆟onal learning by digging deeper into common and contras􀆟ng themes and pa􀆩erns

among these inten􀆟onally diverse contexts.

Defini􀆟ons of collec􀆟ve leadership. The defini􀆟on and opera􀆟onaliza􀆟on of “collec􀆟ve leadership”

remains produc􀆟vely unse􀆩led. Using terms like distributed (Gronn, 2002), collabora􀆟ve (Vangen

and Huxham 2003), rela􀆟onal (Uhl-Bien 2006), interdependent (Drath et al. 2008), and integra􀆟ve

(Crosby & Bryson, 2010) leadership, these streams of scholarship have in common an orienta􀆟on to

“leadership in the plural” as an alterna􀆟ve to individualis􀆟c or “heroic” leader models (Denis et al.,

2012). Some use collec􀆟ve leadership to reference a plurality of individual leaders who are

collabora􀆟ng (Ospina & Foldy, 2010), while others use it as a lens to study emergent, decentered

prac􀆟ces in or quali􀆟es of networks (Carter & DeChurch, 2012; Dinh et al., 2014; Raelin, 2016;

Quick, 2017). Some cri􀆟cal leadership scholars ques􀆟on whether there is anything dis􀆟nc􀆟vely new

in some of these approaches (e.g., Collinson, 2017), and whether fascina􀆟on with shared leadership

may overwrite s􀆟ll salient features of individuals and organiza􀆟ons (Tourish, 2014). Asymmetrical

power rela􀆟ons within leadership processes are a further area for inves􀆟ga􀆟on in this context

(Gagnon & Collinson, 2014). In this workshop, we seek to advance scholarship on collec􀆟ve

leadership through a robust exchange among these perspec􀆟ves, the success of which requires that

each contributor be explicit about their respec􀆟ve defini􀆟on of collec􀆟ve leadership and how they

are opera􀆟onalizing it in their empirical study.

Methodological alignment. Heterogeneity in the study of collec􀆟ve leadership also manifests in

methodological choices (Yammarino et al., 2012). Diversity in units of analysis is appropriate, given

its presence in spaces between personal, cultural, organiza􀆟onal, or sectoral differences. More

fundamental, there is a range of rela􀆟vely more rela􀆟onal and en􀆟ta􀆟ve perspec􀆟ves on what

collec􀆟ve leadership is (Uhl-Bien & Ospina, 2012), with some a􀆩ending more to prac􀆟ce (e.g.,

Fairhurst, 2007; Raelin, 2011; Gagnon et al., 2012), and others more to the constella􀆟on of actors

involved and their interac􀆟ons (e.g., Friedrich et al., 2009; Chrobot-Mason et al., 2016). Building on

previous Co-LEAD Net workshops regarding methodological issues in the study of collec􀆟ve

leadership, authors contribu􀆟ng to the 2018 workshop are asked to narrate carefully the alignment

between their conceptualiza􀆟on of collec􀆟ve leadership, research ques􀆟ons, and data collec􀆟on

and analysis methods (Cunliffe, 2016; Mele & Cappellaro, 2016). That said, we par􀆟cularly

encourage longitudinal analysis, iden􀆟fied as one of the major gaps in research on collec􀆟ve

leadership (Carroll & Simpson, 2012; Cullen & Yammarino, 2014).


15 December Submit one page paper proposal iden􀆟fying the empirical ques􀆟ons and ins􀆟tu􀆟onal

context of the study, se􀆫ng forth your provisional defini􀆟on of “collec􀆟ve

leadership,” and providing a short explana􀆟on of how your methods align with the

defini􀆟on. SUBMIT To Suzanne Gagnon at: co-leadmontreal.mgmt


15 January Decisions about proposal acceptance announced

1 February Submit requests for financial assistance if it is otherwise a barrier to par􀆟cipate (we

encourage PhD students to apply)

1 March Decisions about financial assistance announced

15 March Deadline to register for conference

April 15 Deadline to provide paper to be circulated and posted for workshop par􀆟cipants.

Papers should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words.

May 1-3 Workshop

Organizers and Hos􀆟ng

The workshop will be hosted by the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University,

Montreal, with co-sponsorship from HEC Montréal, the Center for Integra􀆟ve Leadership of the

University of Minnesota, the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, ESG

UQÀM (Université du Québec à Montréal), and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs of

Indiana University. The organizing commi􀆩ee for the workshop is comprised of:

Suzanne Gagnon, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

Ann Langley, HEC Montréal

Kathryn Quick, Center for Integra􀆟ve Leadership, University of Minnesota

Viviane Sergi, ESG UQÀM

Sonia Ospina, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University

Siv Vangen, Director of Center for Voluntary Sector Leadership, Open University


Carroll, B., & Simpson, B. (2012). Capturing sociality in the movement between frames: An illustration from leadership

development. Human Relations, 65(10), 1283-1309.

Carter, D. R., DeChurch, L. A., Braun, M. T., & Contractor, N. S. (2015). Social network approaches to leadership: An

integrative conceptual review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, 597-622.

Chrobot-Mason, D., Gerbasi, A., & Cullen-Lester, K. L. (2016). Predicting leadership relationships: The importance of

collective identity. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(2), 298-311.

Crosby, B. C., & Bryson, J. M. (2010). Special issue on public integrative leadership: Multiple turns of the

kaleidoscope. The Leadership Quarterly, 2(21), 205-208.

Collinson, M. (2017). Leading questions: What’s new about Leadership-as-Practice? Leadership, published online

September 5, 2017. DOI: 1742715017726879.

Cullen, K., & Yammarino, F. J. (2014). Special issue on collective and network approaches to leadership. The Leadership

Quarterly, 25(1), 180-181.

Cunliff e, A. L. (2016) Philosophical underlaboring: clearing the ground for research on collec􀆟 ve leadership. Co-LEAD

Workshop, New York University, September 2016.

Denis, J. L., Langley, A., & Sergi, V. (2012). Leadership in the plural. Academy of Management Annals, 6(1), 211-283.

Dinh, J. E., Lord, R. G., Gardner, W. L., Meuser, J. D., Liden, R. C., & Hu, J. (2014). Leadership theory and research in the

new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 36-62.

Drath, W. H., McCauley, C. D., Palus, C. J., Van Velsor, E., O’Connor, P. M., & McGuire, J. B. (2008). Direction, alignment,

commitment: Toward a more integrative ontology of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(6), 635-653.


Fairhurst, G. (2007). Discursive Leadership: In Conversa􀆟on with Leadership Psychology . Sage.

Friedrich, T. L., Vessey, W. B., Schuelke, M. J., Ruark, G. A., & Mumford, M. D. (2009). A framework for understanding

collective leadership: The selective utilization of leader and team expertise within networks. The Leadership

Quarterly, 20(6), 933-958.

Gagnon, S., Vough, H. C., & Nickerson, R. (2012). Learning to lead, unscripted: Developing affiliative leadership through

improvisational theatre. Human Resource Development Review, 11(3), 299-325.

Gagnon, S., & Collinson, D. (2014). Rethinking global leadership development programs: The interrelated significance of

power, context and identity. Organization Studies, 35 (5), 645-670.

Gronn, P. (2002). Distributed leadership as a unit of analysis. Leadership Quarterly, 13(4), 423-451.

Mele, V., & Cappellaro, G. (2016). On alignment and triangula􀆟 on: a methodological journey into shared leadership. Co-

LEAD Workshop, New York University, September 2016.

Ospina, S., & Foldy, E. (2010). Building bridges from the margins: The work of leadership in social change

organizations. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(2), 292-307.

Quick, K. S. (2017). Locating and building collective leadership and impact. Leadership, 13(4), 445-471.

Raelin, J. (2011). From leadership-as-practice to leaderful practice. Leadership, 7(2), 195-211.

Raelin, J. A. (Ed.). (2016). Leadership-as-Prac􀆟ce: Theory and applica􀆟on : Routledge.

Tourish, D. (2014). Leadership, more or less? A processual, communication perspective on the role of agency in

leadership theory. Leadership, 10(1), 79-98.

Uhl-Bien, M. (2006). Relational leadership theory: Exploring the social processes of leadership and

organizing. Leadership Quarterly, 17(6), 654-676.

Uhl-Bien, M., & Ospina, S. (2012). Advancing relational leadership theory: A conversation among

perspectives. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.

Vangen, S., & Huxham, C. (2003). Enacting leadership for collaborative advantage: Dilemmas of ideology and

pragmatism in the activities of partnership managers. British Journal of Management, 14(s1), S61-S76.

Yammarino, F. J., Salas, E., Serban, A., Shirreffs, K., & Shuffler, M. L. (2012). Collectivistic leadership approaches: Putting

the “we” in leadership science and practice. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 5(4), 382-402.

Thank you to our sponsors!

From the organizing committee

Suzanne Gagnon, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

Ann Langley, HEC Montréal

Kathryn Quick, Center for Integrative Leadership, University of Minnesota

Viviane Sergi, ESG UQÀM

Sonia Ospina, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University

Siv Vangen, Director of Center for Voluntary Sector Leadership, Open University