Leadership-as-Practice: Introduction

Leadership-as-Practice: Theory and Application (Routledge, 2016)

Northeastern U. D’Amore-McKim School of Business Research Paper No. 2776794

27 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016  

Joseph A. Raelin

Northeastern University - D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Date Written: February 1, 2016


This is an introduction to Leadership-as-Practice: Theory and Application. This book develops a new paradigm in the field of leadership studies, referred to as the L-A-P movement. Its essence is its conception of leadership as occurring as a practice rather than residing in the traits or behaviors of particular individuals. A practice is a coordinative effort among participants who choose through their own rules to achieve a distinctive outcome. It also tends to encompass routines as well as problem-solving or coping skills, often tacit, that are shared by a community. Accordingly, leadership-as-practice is less about what one person thinks or does and more about what people may accomplish together. It is thus concerned with how leadership emerges and unfolds through day-to-day experience. The social and material contingencies impacting the leadership constellation – the people who are effecting leadership at any given time – do not reside outside of leadership but are very much embedded within it. To find leadership, then, we must look to the practice within which it is occurring.

Keywords: leadership, leadership-as-practice, leaderful practice, collective leadership, distributed leadership, relational leadership, leadership development

JEL Classification: J24, M10, M12, M14, M53, M54

Suggested Citation

Raelin, Joseph A., Leadership-as-Practice: Introduction (February 1, 2016). Leadership-as-Practice: Theory and Application (Routledge, 2016); Northeastern U. D’Amore-McKim School of Business Research Paper No. 2776794. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776794

Joseph A. Raelin (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - D’Amore-McKim School of Business ( email )

360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.poe.neu.edu

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