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Analyzing leadership attributes in faith-based organizations: Idealism versus reality

Zigan, Krystin, Héliot, YingFei and Le Grys, Alan (2019) Analyzing leadership attributes in faith-based organizations: Idealism versus reality Journal of Business Ethics.

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This paper aims to contribute to the growing discussion about leadership in the contemporary Church of England with a particular interest in the complex interaction between social context and leadership practices. Implicit leadership theory is used to explore mutual expectations around distributed models of lay and ordained leadership as well as ‘ordinary’ members’’ of congregation. Applying a qualitative research method, we conducted 32 semi-structured interviews in six Church of England parishes. Through the systematic analysis of relevant contextual factors at multiple levels, we identify limited congruence between ideal leadership attributes and actual behavior. We contribute to the implicit leadership theory literature by identifying ethical attributes, such as the ability to help others flourish, as particularly pertinent to the religious setting. We also identify the malleability of some leadership attributes. We further contribute to the literature on organizational studies in faith-based organizations by offering novel insights into the relationship between leadership, followership and contextual factors at local parish level which have significant practical implications for recruiting and training church leaders and followers.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Zigan, Krystin
Le Grys, Alan
Date : 27 November 2019
DOI : 10.1007/s10551-019-04358-7
Uncontrolled Keywords : Contextual factors; Ethical leadership; Implicit leadership theory; Leadership attributes; Faith-based organizations; Qualitative
Additional Information : A correction to this article is available online at
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 20 Nov 2019 11:49
Last Modified : 28 Nov 2020 02:08

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