Teaching Leadership Critically: A metamodern remix

Neil Sutherland, Simon Kelly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we explore how a “metamodern” pedagogic approach can be illuminating for teaching leadership critically. Metamodernism is a way of thinking and acting that oscillates playfully between modernism (the “traditional”, “canonical”, or “mainstream”) and postmodernism (the “alternative”, “heterodox”, or “critical”) – by seeking to facilitate a productive conversation between the two. We explore how leadership studies have historically tended toward modernist teaching approaches, but how more recent critical leadership perspectives seek to explicitly challenge these mainstream assumptions. Whilst the critical turn has advanced academic knowledge, we argue that adopting an either/or oppositional view (i.e., mainstream vs critical) may be less useful for students compared to the potentiality of a both/and approach captured in a metamodern perspective. In this chapter we ask: How can we construct pedagogical experiences and environments that appreciate the value of the post-modern and critical turn in leadership studies, whilst also not denigrating or seeking to replace the many modernist foundations that leadership studies is based on and that students continue to value? A metamodern remixing of leadership helps us to raise new questions about what we teach (with a focus on oscillating between modernist and post-modern standpoints); how we teach (by adopting metamodern strategies for embracing oscillation using both/and thinking); and why we teach (with an emphasis on the creative and transformative potential of both intra and inter-disciplinarity in the leadership classroom).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Critical Companion to Leadership Studies
EditorsDavid Knights, Helena Liu, Owain Smolovic-Jones, Suze Wilson
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003363125
ISBN (Print)9781032425153, 978103425160
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024

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