Latest event organised by the Bristol Leadership Centre in partnership with The Leadership Trust Foundation

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Bristol Leadership Centre and The Leadership Trust Foundation Research Seminar with Professor Dennis Tourish on “Complexity leadership theory: A processual, communication critique, and suggested modifications.”

Wednesday 5 November 2014

2.30pm to 4.00pm



Most Complexity theories stress the non-linear nature of organisational relationships. They therefore problematize attempts to identify clear causal relationships between organisational phenomena.

Consistent with this, complexity leadership theories explore how leaders can enable complexity to facilitate more innovative and creative organisational outcomes. However, Tourish will suggest that these perspectives tend to depict leaders and their actions as standing apart from the complex organisational processes that the theories describe, and assume that leaders can exercise rational, extensive and purposeful influence on them to a far greater extent than is possible.

In contrast, Tourish will argue that leadership is best thought of as an ongoing communicative process that is an integral part of complexity dynamics within organisations. The role of the individual leader is thus a social construction produced by the often conflicted communicative interactions of multiple organisational actors.

Moreover, what is deemed effective behaviour by such  individuals is a momentary accomplishment that can never be separated from multiple temporal, social and organisational contexts. Tourish will challenge ongoing tendencies towards essentialism in leadership studies, and explore how processual, communication perspectives enrich our understanding of complex leadership dynamics.


Professor Dennis Tourish is Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a Fellow of the Leadership Trust Foundation, a Fellow of Lancaster Leadership Centre and co-editor (with Brad Jackson) of the journal Leadership.

His most recent book is ‘The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership: A Critical Perspective’, published by Routledge in 2013. Although this book remains unavailable in all good bookshops, it has been favourably reviewed, and should be a best seller by 2050.

Register for this FREE event

Complete Seminar Programme

BLC Email:

Leadership Trust Website:

Great news for OS scholars at UWE – BAM awards Researcher Development Grant!

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Press release:

The University of the West of England is pleased to announce that Eda Ulus and Inge Aben have been awarded a Researcher Development Grant from the  British Academy of Management.(BAM). BAM launched the Researcher Development Grants Scheme in 2013 with the aim of encouraging and supporting research activities, in order to advance management scholarship through empirical research. Visit BAM for more information.

Out of the 125 applications for this grant, the project by Eda Ulus and Inge Aben, titled “Silence is Golden: Learning from Introversion to Broaden Teaching and Learning Experiences in Management and Business”, was one of the 13 projects that were selected. Their project will explore individual experiences of introversion in higher education. The results will be analysed to develop themes for teaching pedagogy and management practice. For impact, the results will be shared in reports with educators and practitioners, and published in academic journals.  This is an exciting time for the University and for Eda Ulus and Inge Aben who are passionate about exploring introversion in a variety of learning and management contexts.  As one of the reviewers for this grant noted, there is a “timely need to explore the extent to which extraversion is emphasised at the expense of introversion.”

Eda Ulus is a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies in the Faculty of Business and Law at UWE Bristol.  Her research interests include introversion, the experience of experiential learning, workplace emotions, psychoanalytic approaches, narratives, embodiment, and social justice.  Her past organisational experiences include Assistant Director of an International Student Office, Academic Counsellor, Researcher for a hospital and psychology departments, and tutor and advisor for undergraduate students in the US, Turkey, and the UK.

Inge Aben is a Lecturer in Organisation Studies in the Faculty of Business and Law at UWE Bristol and is a project manager for the Institute of Leadership and Management professional qualifications, including the Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring course.  She runs her own coaching, training and teaching consultancy and has years of experience supporting the development of communities, businesses and individuals in Europe and Africa. Her research interests include introversion, coaching, facilitation and work-based learning in leadership and community development.

For more details:

Congratulations Eda and Inge!


Calling all OS-people! Organization Studies has new cfp out!

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Organization Studies Calls for Papers:

January 2014-November 2014 – please see attached word doc below for all the details!

Please note you can only submit one month prior to the submission deadline and only through SAGETrack: 

Administrative support & general queries

Sophia Tzagaraki:

Jan 14 Organization-Studies-Calls-for-Papers

A warm welcome to new colleagues in the Organisation Studies team, here at UWE…

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The Organisation Studies team here at UWE is growing and we have quite a number of exciting new appointments!

We welcome Neil Sutherland, who joins us as a Lecturer in Organisation Studies. Neil has taught and studied at the University of Essex for the past six years, working on his PhD thesis, titled: ‘In search of leadership: an ethnography of meaning making in leaderless organisations’. In this research, ‘leadership’ is reconceptualised as a collective and relational socially constructed process; as something that can exist in the absence of individual leaders. He is especially interested in exploring democratic organisational and decision-making practices, and the ways in which they facilitate distributed and non-hierarchical forms of organisation.

We welcome Elton Xhetani, who also joins us as a Lecturer in Organisation Studies. Elton has been at the University of Warwick for the past 3 years, working on his PhD thesis entitled: How does organisational architecture affect teachers’ professional identity? A comparative case study based on Sixth Form Colleges.

We welcome Dr Roz Gasper. Roz was previously at the University of Glamorgan (now University of South Wales) teaching OS, management of change, some leadership and HR.  She recently completed a doctorate with Cardiff University looking at collaborative working and the citizen-led agenda with a focus on power relations, identities and critical discourse approaches.  One of her priorities is to publish and to get involved in coaching and mentoring and some of our exciting new approaches to facilitating learning.

We welcome Inge Aben. Inge is a trainer, coach and consultant with expertise in management, leadership and enterprise development in various sectors and countries. She will be focussing on our ILM provision in Coaching and Mentoring and Leadership and Management level 5 and level 7 alongside teaching and developing some of our MSc Leadership and Management postgraduate modules.

We welcome Emir Kullar. Emir is an experienced coach and development consultant and will be working on Organisational Analysis and ILM level 3 undergraduate development focusing on the graduate futures award, certificates in coaching and leadership & management. Emir is also involved as a team coach in the new Team Entrepreneurship programme working with 38 very motivated and inspirational first years. The teampreneurs will be setting up their own companies this term and are already engaged in a number of projects with Bristol businesses. Having just returned from a team building exercise with them Emir has been struck by just how much they have learned in the last four weeks and how engaged they are with the programme. It has been fascinating to be so close to the group as they come together as teams, work on forming their own identity and start to take responsibility for their own learning. Those interested in studying leadership, identity, space, self-development and reflective practice would have a field-day!

We welcome Conroy Grizzle, who is also an experienced Learning & Development Consultant, who will be teaching on a cross-section of modules and exploring opportunities for research on Race, diversity and management.

And last, but by no means least, we are delighted to welcome Professor Peter Case back to the Business School. Peter has spent the last two years at James Cook University (JCU) in Queensland, Australia. Peter will be retaining a 0.2 FTE position at JCU in order to continue working on rural development and conservation projects that he’s running in Southeast Asia and Solomons. He returns to UWE on a 0.8 basis as professor of organization studies and is looking forward to working with colleagues here, both old and new!

Organization Studies update and reminder…

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By Dr Harriet Shortt

Hi all!

We posted details of the Organization Studies ‘5 special issues call’ some weeks ago….please see previous post for all the details…but it looks like there is an extended deadline…and in addition, news of an OS Workshop!…please see below for details:

The abstract submission website for the 9th OS Workshop is now open. You may visit: to see the call for papers for the 9th OS
Workshop on: “Resistance, resisting, and resisters in and around organizations” that will take place between the 22nd and the 24th of May in Corfu, Greece. You can submit your abstract to the following link:

There is an extended the deadline for submissions on the Special Issue on “The transformative and innovative power of network dynamics”, Guest Edited by : Stewart Clegg, Emmanuel Josserand, Ajay Mehra, and Tyrone Pitsis until October 30th 2013. You may submit your paper at:

Thanks all! 🙂