1st Edition

The Role of Imagination in Understanding Leadership The Forgotten Dimension

By Nathan W. Harter Copyright 2024
    164 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    164 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents a series of fascinating investigations into the role that the imagination plays in studying and practicing leadership. It explains how using the imagination is integral to both the study and practice of leadership itself.

    Each study presented began as distinct and conceptually separable and is eloquently tied together by the author through the lens of imagination. This volume outlines the role of the imagination in understanding (a) one’s self, as well as other people, (b) the social groups to which one belongs, (c) the dynamics by which these groups change, (d) the conceptual structures we use to determine boundaries, and (e) the role of ritual ceremonies such as legislative committee hearings. In so doing, it offers novel insights that will encourage the reader to consider their own understanding and study of leadership.

    The Role of Imagination in Understanding Leadership will appeal to scholars and advanced students in the field of Leadership Studies, including graduate students studying leadership.

    1. On the powers and pitfalls of the imagination

    2. Fictions in the study of leadership: Applying the philosophy of “as if”

    3. Homo ludens on motorbikes: Negotiating play in George Romero’s Knightriders

    4. The imago of leadership

    5. Artifex, exemplar, and guide: Using metaphors of the labyrinth in leadership studies

    6. Following as imitation: Recovering the sociology of Gabriel Tarde

    7. Making distinctions: Hazel and Hawthorn

    8. Lights, camera, action: The ceremonial function of hearings and trials

    9. Coda: The emergent beauty of authentic leadership


    Nathan W. Harter has taught Leadership Studies since 1989, when he began at Purdue University in the State of Indiana. Today, he serves at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. He is the author of several books, numerous articles, and book chapters on leadership.