Resistance and struggle in leadership development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


That leadership development is a contested terrain, like any organizational terrain, can scarcely be considered a new idea, yet research into the intricacies of resistance in this context is very much in its infancy. This article takes recent critical scholarship on resistance as its starting point to explore the interdependencies of power, resistance and struggle in a leadership development environment. Drawing on extensive online interactions collected from an 18-month, cross-sector programme with emergent leaders, this article asks whether the different stakeholders in leadership development could benefit from a more open exploration of power and resistance. Such dynamics offer new insights into the relationship between participants and facilitators and raise a series of alternative questions, challenges and strategies for leadership development.


  • Brigid Carroll
  • Helen Nicholson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • leadership development, learning, power, resistance, social, constructionism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1413-1436
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch