A model of political leadership

Morrell, K and Hartley, Jean (2006). A model of political leadership. Human Relations, 59(4) pp. 483–504.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726706065371


In this article we develop a model of political leadership. In doing so, we analyse the challenges facing political leaders in local government in England and Wales. We use this analysis as a basis for broader theorizing: about leadership at other levels of government and in other countries. The scope for applying extant accounts of leadership in these domains can be enhanced by considering the relational complexities that characterize the environment within which political leaders act; by doing so we offer an agenda for research. We describe the context for political leaders in terms of figurational sociology, where figurations denote interdependent networks of social relations. These take shape in different arenas of action, and are partly influenced by the different roles that political leaders undertake. These figurations are also constituted differently given the diversity inherent in the context for enacting political leadership. We propose a conceptual model that serves both as a heuristic framework to organize conceptualization of this understudied area, and to orient future research.

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