Deadline: June 1 – Leading in Complex Worlds (a volume in the Building Leadership Bridges Series)

Call for Submissions

Leading in Complex Worlds

2012 Volume in the Building Leadership Bridges Series

Deadline for Submissions: June 1, 2011

Editor: JoAnn Danelo Barbour

The International Leadership Association ( invites you to submit your work on the theme, Leading in Complex Worlds for our annual volume in the Building Leadership Bridges series. The book captures the best contemporary thinking about leadership from a diverse range of scholars, practitioners, and educators working in the field of leadership studies. In keeping with the mission of the ILA, the book series connects ways of researching, imagining, and experiencing leadership across cultures, over time, and around the world. The book will be published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley with an expected publication date of March 2012.


Leaders like to tell stories. We tell stories, for example, about where we came from, how we teach students, an organizational change we made, or a group we know who effected local change. Stories can help us understand the practice of leadership and those with whom we work, but stories can also help us understand the self. We share the practice of leading through our stories, but what about the theory of leading? From where does the story develop? Leading in complex worlds involves practices and approaches that are multidisciplinary, multimodal, often multitasked, multi-relational, and so on. Stories about leading, then, are grounded, based, or positioned in multiple disciplines, multiple frames of reference, and multiple philosophies. From these disciplines and traditions, leaders develop interests, stories, ways of observing, ways of collecting information, ways of building relationships, or ways of “doing” leadership and ways of “being” leaders.

The purpose of this call is to seek essays on leading, about leadership, and for leaders, that are multi-perspective in scope and focus that would be appropriate for the complex worlds in which we live. Each essay is expected to contain both the narrative (or story) and the theoretical and/or philosophical and/or disciplinary grounding supporting that narrative. We seek essays that blend the theory and practice of leading/leadership, and concurrently are multi-perspective: multi-grounded, multi-framed, multidisciplinary, multimodal, multi-dimensional, multi-intelligence, and/or multi-logical, for example.

Questions for Stimulation

The editor of this volume offers a set of guiding questions to stimulate your thinking about Leading in Complex Worlds. If we tell a story, for example, on what basis does this story develop or in what frame of reference does it occur? What is its philosophical or disciplinary or theoretical grounding? What are the lessons learned? How can others use/be informed by this story? What is the disciplinary grounding of a submitted case study? In what combination of disciplines is the case grounded, for example, economics, evolution, biology, history, anthropology, music, fine arts, chemistry, literature, educational psychology, and so on? Is the case study a report of research findings? Can the case also be used for teaching? If the case can be used as a teaching method, how so? How inclusive is the submission of both a philosophical grounding or frame of reference and the story?

Areas for Submission

The editor welcomes previously unpublished submissions that explore the theme Leading in Complex Worlds from diverse perspectives, disciplines, cultures and sectors. Submissions should strengthen ties between those who practice and who study leadership, and that foster effective leadership. Submissions will be considered in five areas that help us understand leadership and leading at the intersections of research or theory, application, and art.

§  Ways of Observing and Knowing Leaders and Leadership: With this submission, contributors should present question(s) or hypotheses, pertinent literature, findings, and discussion that relate to the research of leading from a multi-perspective focus. Research that combines both qualitative and quantitative research are encouraged including, but not limited to, case studies, ethnographies, interviews, biographies, autoethnographies, or surveys. Epistemological discussions that focus on the multi-knowledge base of leadership theory and practice are also welcomed.

§  Stories of Leadership Practices: Those who have applied, developed, taught or practiced leading from various perspectives are encouraged to submit in this area. The contributor’s application or story, for example, should include an explanation of the underlying theory(ies), philosophy(ies), and/or model(s) that ground or support the application, and include supporting references. Depending on the focus of the submission, contributors may also want to include a critically reflective section to the work, and/or applications as lessons for others.

§  Ways of Developing Leaders/Teaching Leadership: Those who develop leaders whether in classroom situations or in executive retreats are encouraged to submit ideas about teaching and/or developing others that includes a variety of perspectives. These essays should include a statement of outcomes and how one achieved those outcomes. Additionally, one would add the philosophical, disciplinary, theoretical, and/or methodological groundings one uses to support the teaching and development efforts, with supporting references.

§  Artistic Works: Poets, essayists, dramatists, photographers, and fine artists are encouraged to submit original works that thematically represent or relate to the theme.

§  Boundary Crossing: With each submission noted in the above areas, authors are encouraged to take a multi-perspective approach. Additionally, one could combine areas that explore the theme. For example, one could discuss artistic ways to teach in complex worlds, or leadership practices that have been studied (ways of knowing), or ways to observe and know leading through the arts or through teaching.

Submission Guidelines

Submitted works must be previously unpublished.  They should be no longer than 5000 words, the word count to include narrative text, not to include references, tables, or charts. Submitted works will be double blind-reviewed, thus all identifying information should be on a separate cover sheet. Information on the cover sheet must include all of the following: suggested area of submission, title of submission, a maximum 100-word abstract, and names, affiliations, and contact information (including best phone, best email, and mailing address) for all contributors. APA style should be followed. Notes should be kept to a minimum but when used should come in the form of endnotes. Margins are to be 1” on all four sides, left-aligned, NOT justified, and all pages numbered in the top right-hand corner with the narrative starting on page 1. Submissions should be in Times New Roman, font size 12, double spaced, and indented paragraphs for all submissions EXCEPT artistic works. PLEASE NOTE: All submissions must meet these guidelines except artistic works. If guidelines are not met, submission may be excluded from consideration.

Send submissions electronically to Debra DeRuyver at by June 1, 2011.


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