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Towards a Stratified Leadership Context Framework – an integrative approach

Nørby, T. (2021) Towards a Stratified Leadership Context Framework – an integrative approach. DBA thesis, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00105305

Abstract/Summary

Leadership is influenced by context. Nevertheless, when it comes to leadership context, a gap in the literature has existed for decades. Moreover, understanding the relationship between leadership context and the ability to lead effectively is a longstanding challenge for practitioners. This study delivers a significant original contribution by developing a nascent Stratified Leadership Context Framework. An integrative literature review synthesised the knowledge from sixty highly cited review articles and related literature into a new conception of leadership context. Drawing also on Critical Realism philosophy, the synthesising resulted in eight propositions concerning the nature of leadership context. In continuation, the synthesis produced sixty-eight hypotheses regarding the contextual factors; their causal effects; and the leader’s possibilities to shape the factors. The propositions and hypotheses were explored in a two-round Delphi study. Three panels, comprising HR practitioners, Leadership scholars and Leaders, participated. The one hundred nine tenured leadership experts from 24 countries agreed that twenty-eight factors comprise the leadership context. The study found that helping and hindering effects on leadership and work performance exist for twenty-five factors. Also, that sixteen factors have the power to influence the choice of leadership behaviour. Moreover, that twenty factors can be shaped through leadership interventions and that shaping context can promote desired organisational intentions. The findings extend the understanding of climate strength; enable the contextualisation of extant leadership theories; and, equip researchers to situate new studies enhancing their generalizability. Also, it assists leaders and leadership developers in matching differing leadership contexts. Moreover, the research paradigm enabled theorising about a complex phenomenon. Specifically, the study operationalised the critical realist principles of epistemic relativity and judgemental rationality in applying the integrative literature review and the Delphi panel method. Further research into contextual influences and effects between contextual factors is warranted. Finally, the results can be applied by practitioners for enhancing recruitment, onboarding, and leadership development.

Item Type:Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Supervisor:Higgs, M. and Dulewicz, V.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:https://doi.org/10.48683/1926.00105305
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:105305

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