Leadership, strategy & organisational change

Leadership, strategy & organisational change

Recent doctoral research has identified seven metaphors of leadership transformation, which are now informing the educational material we produce at MGSM on academic and consultancy levels. Research at MGSM also focuses on using systematic approaches to improve communication and proactively seek ways to reduce misinformation and resistance to change.

Researcher expertise

Leadership, Management, Organisational change, Interventions.

Who this research helps

CEO's, senior executives and managers of all types of organisations.

Research overview

Builds on and imparts findings of cultural studies that view organisations as drama, narrative and performance, to explore how:

  • People and organisations ensure their objectives, plans and strategies are successfully executed
  • Managers and management educators create and pass on practical wisdom
  • Literature, drama, theatre and film can help develop and educate leaders and managers
  • Creativity, play and irony enable managers to overcome limited, traditional expectations of management and develop a more open, reflexive alternative.

In particular, it explores leadership as social performance, issues of identity, masks and authenticity, and ironic reflexivity in liquid modernity.

Research streams

Action, reflexivity and meaning in management

Management research and education is about action, meaning and reflexivity, not the manipulation of technique or discovering laws.

Recent doctoral research has identified seven metaphors of leadership transformation, which are informing the educational material we produce at MGSM, and academic and consultancy levels, along with publishing opportunities we have with the Harvard Business Review and our collaborative prospects with Harvard and Yale universities.

Our ongoing research in this area focuses on how these and new metaphors emerge, establish, and are challenged during transformational leadership and change management.

Organisations as theatre

Focuses on how innovation and change leadership is not just a set of managerial techniques and tools, but an artful performance requiring the skilful integration of scripts, props, action and persuasion.

This research stream has been:

  • Presented at the European Group for Organizational Studies (2006-11)
  • Extended into a series of publications – e.g. the ‘Performing Change’ chapter  in the Routledge companion to Organizational Change (2012).

The performative arts of management and leadership

Research focus and educational programs on the performative arts of management and leadership are of:

  • Personal and practical benefit to individuals and organisations
  • Central significance to innovation and change.

Research in this area is found in the:

  • MGSM 866 ‘Managing Change’ module
  • Collaborative Forum Theatre Change Interventions (St George, ING Direct, Lifehouse)
  • Beyond Harvard Case Studies: Hardwired Human Instincts ‘Zoo’ Experience
  • Henley/MGSM China Study Tours
  • Copenhagen Business School/MGSM Arts Studio Collaboration.

Ironic and cosmopolitan management

Breaking down entrenched, overly rational views of organisational culture is a key, yet, confronting challenge for researchers and educators – and a central responsibility of business schools.

Research in this area focuses on developing methods and theories that challenge established rational thinking, to help develop creative and pragmatic alternatives. It has been:

  • presented in both EGOS and APROS colloquiums (2006-11)
  • summarised on the Ironic Manager website
  • summarised in the Copenhagen Business School publication, The Ironic Manager.

Find an Explorations in Leadership, Strategy & Organisational Change academic.

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