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Leadership development, wicked problems and action learning: provocations to a debate

John Edmonstone, Aileen Lawless and Mike Pedler

Action Learning: Research and Practice, 2019, vol. 16, issue 1, 37-51

Abstract: The paper examines whether, if leadership is defined by the willingness to tackle wicked issues, and if action learning is employed for leadership development purposes, do the action learning participants on leadership development programmes address such wicked issues? It adopts a version of dialogical sense-making to consider this and describes an attempted literature review which led to a series of questions on academic motivations, puzzles and problems, when exactly a problem is wicked, the possible difference between private and public problems, leader development and leaderful practice. It failed to identify such evidence and it is postulated that this is due to the individual-focused nature of leader development.

Date: 2019
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