Methodological Challenges in Collective Leadership Research

Welcome to the Third Collective Leadership Research Workshop, “Methodological Challenges in Collective Leadership Research.”

The goal of this year’s Workshop is to:

  • Share critical methodological challenges encountered while researching collective leadership, and discuss possible solutions;
  • Build the foundation to propose and produce a Special Issue about the theory-methods tension in collective leadership research;
  • Push forward the conversation while respecting different approaches to understanding the nature of collective leadership and doing research on it.


78151-200Collective leadership is a slippery, shape-shifting, contested phenomenon: how do we capture it methodologically?   This is a timely question, as leadership theories shift attention from models focusing on the individual ‘heroic leader’ to the relational dynamics of ‘collective leadership.’

The shift surfaces methodological challenges associated with the important research task of translating the assumptions of a collective lens on leadership into sound research design decisions and practices. Such methodological challenges include: challenges associated with the nature of collective leadership, like the need to consider and disentangle its multi-level nature, incorporating time, finding methodologies that capture process; challenges associated with the methodological implications of theory, such as lack of conceptual clarity, or problems of theory-methods fit like matching ontological with analytical units of analysis; and challenges associated with measurement, such as how and what to measure when trying to capture the unobservable.

Explore the workshop call for papers.