Threshold Concepts and Modalities for Teaching Leadership Practice
Management Learning, Forthcoming
49 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2011 Last revised: 5 Dec 2012
Date Written: August 10, 2011
Can the teaching of leadership transform practice? What concepts and modalities are best suited to do so? This paper builds on Meyer and Land’s (2003) theory of threshold concepts to examine how students learn and experience leadership as a complex and multi-faceted practice. Threshold concepts are conceptual gateways, opening up new and previously inaccessible ways of thinking about a field. In an ethnographic account using participant observation, analysis of student papers, and in-depth interviews, the authors identified two threshold concepts that had a transformational impact on students: (i) situational leadership and (ii) shared leadership. In addition, they found three modalities that supported the learning of threshold concepts: (i) variation, (ii) enactment, and (iii) reflection. The paper concludes by citing the broader implications for the research and teaching of leadership practice.
Keywords: threshold concepts, threshold modalities, action learning, leadership development, learning, practice
JEL Classification: J24, L00, L20, M00, M10, M12, M14, M53, M54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation