Developing leaders in cyber-space: how ‘distance’- learning enables leaders to ‘get close’ to where it matters

Ladkin, D., Case, P., Gayá Wicks, P. and Kinsella, K. (2009) Developing leaders in cyber-space: how ‘distance’- learning enables leaders to ‘get close’ to where it matters. Leadership, 5 (2). pp. 193-212. ISSN 1742-7150 Available from:

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Whereas ‘distance learning’ has often been seen as the poor relation of face-to-face educational encounters, this paper suggests that paradoxically, this mode of delivery can offer significant advantages to those aiming to develop highly situated practices, such as leadership capability. In particular, the ‘distance’ from the delivering educational establishment becomes ‘proximity’ or an affordance in terms of where the learning is actually applied, and the constraints of the programme’s structure enable greater freedom on the part of participants as they choose which aspects of theory they focus on. The argument presented here is based on research conducted to gain insight into participants’ experience of a two-year Masters in Leadership Studies delivered primarily through on-line, web-based technology. We conclude that despite appearing to be a ‘transmission’ based learning intervention, the on-line mechanism fosters an experience similar to action learning in its engagement with participants’ contexts, and also enables a more ‘constructivist’ approach to learning about the practice, as well as the theory, of leadership.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Leadership, 5/2, May 2009 by SAGE Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. © SAGE Publications Ltd.
Uncontrolled Keywords:leadership development, distance learning, e-learning, on-line learning, transmission and constructivist modes of learning
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Business Management
ID Code:11244
Deposited By: Professor P. Case
Deposited On:26 Oct 2010 12:58
Last Modified:09 Nov 2016 23:35

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