argument that most leadership models are leader centric and situation specific; “they all
fixate on leaders (and managers) to the effective exclusion of nearly everyone else, and
they fixate on themselves…to the effective exclusion of near everything else” (p. 190).
Alarcón (1990) reminds us that if we do not recognize differences then
“epistemology is flattened out in such a way that we lose sight of the complex and
multiple ways in which the subject and object of possible experience are constituted” (p.
361). This challenges the notion that all individuals have the ability to be agents in the
same way in all spaces. Since this way of knowing others denies that our subjectivities
are fashioned by various experiences including gender, class, and race in a society that
values some experiences over others, then we are left with a re-inscription of patriarchal
ideas. Our sense of self and connection to the ideas, people, and groups around us is
complex, multi-layered, and changing. A feminist theory that embraces this complexity
understands how agency can be more than just an individual characteristic, but something
that exists through institutional structure and allows for the recognition of some and not
Agency as more than an individual characteristic may be difficult to imagine,
especially in a culture that is “leader-centri[c] combined with this situational specificity”
(Kellerman, 2012, p. 190). “The theory of the subject of consciousness,” states Alarcón,
“as a unitary and synthesizing agent of knowledge is always already a posture of
domination” (Alarcón, p. 1990, p. 364). Agency deployed as individualist is always
dominant, meaning that an individualist view of agency assumes the individual is
autonomous and self determining without considering gender, class, and race or in the
un-critiqued feminist sense of replacement of male with female.
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