Leadership in Dialogue: Exploring the Spaces between Ideas, Communities, Worldviews

Birmingham Business School
Sunday 8 December (00:00) - Tuesday 10 December 2024 (23:59)
  • 22nd International Studying Leadership Conference
  • Birmingham Business School and Birmingham Leadership Institute,

There has never been a historical moment more in need of dialogue between different perspectives, disciplines and identities than our own.  As political, social, and cultural environments become ever more polarised, how do we best explore and understand the ways in which leaders and leadership operate for good or ill?  This is a pressing concern for everyone affected by leaders’ actions and their consequences. However, even within the leadership studies research community, we generate our own schisms as academics and the practitioners who take note of their ideas align with one theoretical view over the other (or indeed condemn them all,  as is often the case among critical leadership scholars). 

This 22nd International Studying Leadership Conference fosters a space for inquiry amongst all of us and between the different disciplines and worldviews from which we draw. Our aim is to consider what happens when we listen, question, and embrace the possibilities that arise in true dialogic space (Bohm & Weinberg, 2004).  We are encouraging dialogue as a generative approach to working with difference, to develop a better understanding of leadership’s place in these debates and how ideas might transform into action capable of manifesting into meaningful, collective change.

We invite conference participants to explore what leadership looks like today, how it emerges historically, or how it can be enriched through conversation with different contexts, professions, or theoretical disciplines.  Appreciating that leadership never appears by magic outside of particular situations, cultures or socio-historic moments, the theme offers the chance to explore the myriad possibilities offered by considering leadership in relation to other human and non/beyond human preoccupations and activities.

Contributions to the conference might include explorations of:

  • Leadership and social activism;   
  • Leadership and the arts;
  • Leadership and institutions;
  • Leadership and systems;
  • Leadership and critical feminist or critical race theory;
  • Leadership and conflict;
  • Leadership and neoliberalism;
  • Leadership and violence;
  • Leadership and nature;
  • Leadership and the non- or beyond human;
  • Leadership for the social good or for individual flourishing

Conference submissions

Contributions to this conference can take many forms: traditional academic paper presentations, panel discussions and debates, workshops, or more innovative dialogues. We will also be accepting submissions for interactive symposia sessions.  Please not we will be limiting the number of symposia offerings to 4 and will be particularly interested in submissions which speak to the conference theme in innovative ways.  Conference submissions will be welcomed from  1 May 2024 - 30 August 2024. Please submit short abstracts of between 500-1000 words which outline the topic of your paper, the way it links to the conference theme, and the form the presentation will take.  Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis.  See our Linked In Page for further information and the link to the Conference website.

Keynote speakers

Dr. Scott Allen: Robert M. Ginn Institute Professor for Leadership & Social Responsibility at John Carroll University and host of Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders, ranked among the world's top 3% of podcasts.  

Jim Gamble QPM: Former Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, the Association of Chief Police Officers lead on Child Protection and Child Trafficking and the founder and initial Chair of the Virtual Global Task Force, an international collaboration to make children safer online.

Dr. Aidan McQuade: Former Director of anti-Slavery international from 2006-2017.

Darren Murphy: Special adviser in Tony Blair’s government who helped to plan and deliver three successful general election campaigns.

Dr. Megan Reitz: Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, Oxford University and Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult International Business School.

Dr. Leah Tomkins: Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England. 

Institutional support and place 

Birmingham Business School is one of the UK’s largest and most diverse presences in management and leadership education and research. The School’s core work is supplemented by the Birmingham Leadership Institute, a stand-alone executive education unit founded in 2018. Both School and Institute are key components of the University of Birmingham, the UK’s first civic university, founded in 1900. The School is located on the university’s main 250 hectare campus around 3 miles from the city centre; the Institute occupies one of the city centre’s most prominent historic buildings there, a renovated co-operative bank. We also collaborate closely with colleagues based at the university’s campus in Dubai, founded in 2018.

The main campus in Birmingham is a welcoming green space with all of the facilities needed for major international conferences, including: a 185 room hotel with a range of meeting spaces, a campus railway station with frequent links to mainline stations, and a range of catering. The main School buildings are well equipped with conventional and Harvard lecture theatres and seminar rooms. Birmingham offers everything you would expect from a major city of around a million people. The city is globally renowned for its skilled craft community working in metal, its ethnic diversity, its centrality to the British industrial revolution, its support for the arts, and its hybrid food cultures.

The conference will open with workshops and a reception on Sunday 8 December, and conclude around 4pm Tuesday 10 December. Sunday’s offer will include a pre-conference PhD workshop and research methodology workshop. 

Conference co-chairs

  • Donna Ladkin
  • Joanne Murphy
  • Christopher Pietroni
  • Scott Taylor
  • Carolyn Wilkins