Critical Views of Leadership and the Academic Library

Curtis Brundy


Critical leadership studies (CLS) is a recent branch of leadership studies that examines assumptions and issues with mainstream approaches to leadership development and research. This paper reviews three areas of criticism from CLS. First, leadership is a poorly defined and ambiguous concept. Second, mainstream approaches to leadership can be harmful to followers. And third, there is little evidence demonstrating that leadership development is effective. Next, a recent attempt at library leadership development, the Nexus Project, is examined against the three CLS leadership criticisms. And finally, suggestions from the CLS literature are offered on how to pursue organizational improvements outside the context and shadow of leadership.


leadership; staff development;

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