Kellerman questions the concepts of leaders and followers as a result of socially
constructed power structures, Colonna argues Kellerman’s critique does not go far
enough. On the grounds that no analysis of what it is to be a leader can be successful
“without complicating ideas of subjectivity and agency,” Colonna draws on the work of
Henry Giroux and the thinking of women of color such as Norma Alarcón and bell hooks
in extending her analysis. The thinking of these writers, she makes clear, is central to her
consideration of the subject and agency of leadership. Their ideas and critiques, she
further believes, need to be applied to a critique of leadership theory.
According to Colonna, it is necessary to take cognizance of the subject and
agency of leadership for the following reasons. No two subjects are alike. While some
may be suited to undertaking position of leadership other might not be. In taking this
stance, Colonna draws especially on the work of Alarcón. Quoting Alarcón, she writes
that by “confronting the myth of a unified feminist subject, many women of color writers
have ‘helped open the way for alternate feminist discourses and theories’.” In addition to
taking greater account of differences among individuals when considering their
leadership abilities, one must also recognize that agency and the capacity for individuals
to take action or engage in leadership is heavily impacted by the social and economic
circumstances in which they find themselves. Perhaps the overarching value of this
analysis as a whole is the author’s focus: “broadening our understanding of who can lead
and where that leadership can occur.”
The final paper in this Yearbook takes its starting point from a debate reignited in
colorful fashion over a half century ago by the eminent British novelist, C. P. Snow. The
central point to which Snow drew attention is as pertinent today as it was in Snow’s day
Previous Page Next Page