Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: October 18, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412979344 | Print ISBN: 9781412960830 | Online ISBN: 9781412979344| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 5: Women's Leadership within their Communities
Erin E. O'Brien & Jennifer Shea
Women's leadership within their communities At the core of perennial debates in leadership literature are three questions: (1) What is leadership? (2) What competencies should effective leaders exhibit? (3) How are effective leaders identified or developed? Implicit in those debates is the question of whether leadership can be understood in universal terms or if it is always contingent on circumstances (Bass, 1990; Van Wart, 2005). Until recently, both the theoretical and empirical literature placed primacy either on the leader or on the context of leadership. Giving primacy to either one came at the expense of what has come to be recognized as what really matters: the interactions between the leader and the contexts in which she leads. Nonetheless, still absent from most of the leadership literature is a rich understanding of community and its connections with leaders’ intersectionally formed identities. Instead, an essentialist view of leadership emphasizing who leads, the ...