alternative theories, cont’d.
Other fields add other dimensions:
- anthropologists, culture;
- historians, long time frames;
- political scientists, political dynamics/power;
- sociologists, institutions and societies.
Selznick (1957, political sociologist): leaders infuse values and purpose into a group.
This is not to say that 20th century scholars in other disciplines were not also hobbled by the industrial paradism and the Western scientific worldview. But their very disciplines required analysis along different frames of reference, as noted on the slide. If taken in conjunction with the psychological/managerial theories, perspectives from other disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts can produce a more holistic understanding of leadership.
“Selznick (1957), a good example of a scholar who was ignored by the mainstream management and psychological scientists, was a political sociologist who wrote a landmark study of the TVA. In 1957 he produced a small book in which he distinguished leadership from holding an office/position and likened it to institutionalization, by which he meant infusing values and purpose into an organization (all of which is a very typical sociological point of view). ‘The institutional leader,’ he wrote, ‘is primarily an expert in the promotion and protection of values’ (p. 28).” (Rost, pages 29-30)