Thoughtful leadership. Lessons from Bion

Simpson, P. and French, R. (2005) Thoughtful leadership. Lessons from Bion. Organisational and Social Dynamics, 5 (2). pp. 280-297. ISSN 1474-2780 Available from:

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In the competing discourses within organisations, primacy tends to be given to decisive, action oriented, knowing leadership in contrast to more reflective, patient, thoughtful leadership. This paper argues that there is an important place for ‘thoughtful leadership’ as one of the necessary responses to the challenge of liquid modernity and the danger of organisations going ‘off task’. Thoughtful leaders are first of all concerned with keeping their organisation ‘on task’. It pursuit of this, thoughtful leadership provides containment, is available for thought, and mobilises others in the organisation to be thoughtful. Throughout the paper lessons are drawn from the work of the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion on the development of the capacity for thought.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:leadership, psychodynamics, Bion, containment, negative capability, capacity
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Business Management
ID Code:6366
Deposited By: R. Upload account
Deposited On:22 Jan 2010 15:12
Last Modified:08 Nov 2016 05:55

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