Existential Communication and Leadership

Ashman, Ian and Lawler, John (2008) Existential Communication and Leadership. Leadership, 4 (3). pp. 253-269. ISSN 1742-7150

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1742715008092361


The aim of this article is to introduce and explain a number of important existentialist philosophers and concepts that we believe can contribute to a critical approach to leadership theory. Emphasis is placed on understanding the nature of communication from an existentialist perspective and so Jaspers' conceptualization of existential communication is introduced along with important related concepts that may be regarded as important facets of leader communication including Being-in-the-world, the Other, intersubjectivity, dialogue and indirect communication. Particular attention is paid to Buber's ideas on communication as relationship and dialogue. Throughout, reference is made to contemporary, and what is often regarded as orthodox, thinking regarding the centrality of communication to leadership practice as a means by which to highlight the salience of an existentialist analysis.

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