State of the arts: using literary works to explore and learn about theories and models of leadership

Trish Hafford-Letchfield, William Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Skills and knowledge in leadership are frequently cited as being key to delivering a vision of quality services and this supposes a relationship between 'effective leadership' and transforming services. How students engage with learning about their own leadership potential, however, is a challenge to educators. Leaders are constantly presented with moral and ethical choices within a rapidly changing and challenging environment and are expected to promote distributory and participatory leadership models. This paper shares our experiences of arts-based leadership pedagogy where students were encouraged to confront fundamental moral challenges in their everyday work and to develop leadership skills in moral analysis and judgement through the examination of case studies embodied within well-known literary works. A structured evaluation demonstrated that this method facilitated deeper learning in relation to the students' interrogation of key leadership concepts, and promoted a safe learning environment for engaging in the experience of taking up a leadership and respective followership roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2013


  • public sector leadership
  • moral leadership
  • literary works
  • experiential learning
  • followership
  • interprofessional learning

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