1st Edition

Leadership and Coherence A Cognitive Approach

By Nathan Harter Copyright 2015
    202 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    202 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Leadership and Coherence investigates how leaders justify their decisions, and how they bring about coherence amongst followers. Taking a cognitive approach, it builds on the work of Hannah Arendt to attempt a phenomenology of judgment, examining how the moral imperative experienced by leaders can be shared by their community so both leader and led are guided by a mutual purpose.

    Through biographical case studies of historical leaders, this book illustrates how successful leaders operate in a turbulent world, not only making their own decisions but also gathering likeminded followers to share in a common vision and shared sense of purpose.  

    Chapter 1 Circumscribing the field       
    Chapter 2 Locating the center        
    Chapter 3 The framework for this investigation      
    Chapter 4 From “it” to “you” to “us”       
    Chapter 5 Cameron finds himself transfixed by  
      "A Sunday Afternoon on The Island of La Grande Jatte"   
    Chapter 6 The Shattering         
    Chapter 7 The persuasions of Socrates       
    Chapter 8 The purposes of Abraham Lincoln      
    Chapter 9 Jan Patočka and pneumopathology       
    Chapter 10 Transcendence or a Romantic delusion…or worse? 


    Nathan W. Harter is Professor of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University, USA.

    “Harter has written an erudite book, drawing upon sources as disparate as psychology, art, history, philosophy, and literature to bring new understanding to the psychology of leader (and follower) action. It is a significant work that not only brings insight to leadership but promises to re-shape the way we approach leadership studies itself.”— J. Thomas Wren, Professor Emeritus of Leadership Studies, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, USA

    “A truly thought-provoking read, Nathan Harter’s Leadership and Coherence interweaves insights from eco-psychology, phenomenology, and narrative accounts to challenge traditional views about what leadership is and how it is accomplished.  Vast in scope and spiraling in nature, the book both intrigues and refreshes as it encourages the very ‘conceptual elasticity’ it promotes as a key means of understanding leadership and the role it plays in the 21st century.”—Donna Ladkin, Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Plymouth University, UK

    “This is a thoroughly modern take on leadership, explaining it as the force of a moral community and linking it to the main concerns of contemporary holistic sciences. Nathan Harter is as at home in the mechanics of social influence as in the philosophical challenges of good and evil: who better to guide us?”—Jonathan Gosling, Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Exeter, UK

    "While business and management are the usual carriages used to investigate leadership, Harter relies upon philosophy, psychology, history, and the arts as his vehicles. [...] In Leadership and Coherence, Harter offers a journey through leadership that is truly scenic, with bold vistas, often-over-looked sights, tangential paths, and surprise twists. Most readers will be amazed at the incredible depth and breadth of the research Harter compiled for this work. Even the most avid student of leadership will find new ideas and concepts in his analysis. The book presents a cognitive approach but one that is distinctively phenomenological." -Richard W. Ackley and Joseph F. Caccitolo, PsycCRITIQUES, 2015