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Leadership development: A place for storytelling and Greek mythology?

Schedlitzki, Doris; Jarvis, Carol; MacInnes, Janice


Doris Schedlitzki
Associate Professor in Organisational Leadership

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Carol Jarvis
Professor in Knowledge Exchange, Public and Business Engagement and Innovation

Janice MacInnes


© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014. This article explores how storytelling and Greek mythology within classroom-based leadership development may facilitate learning to deal with ambiguity and social construction in leadership practice. We aim to show how using narratives and making explicit tacit plotlines can disrupt thinking and enable participants to experience the emergent process of re-storying. We argue that the projective focus of the re-storying process encourages critical self-reflection and discussion of the socially constructed nature of organisational roles, relationships and leadership. The use of Greek mythology archetypes in combination with re-storying helps participants to question taken-for-granted assumptions of leadership practice, explore emotions and reflect on the past, present and future of a story. Drawing on reflections from practice, we propose a re-storying leadership development workshop and highlight complexities of working within the realm of re-storying and critical self-reflection. This article concludes with an outline of avenues for future research and leadership development practice.


Schedlitzki, D., Jarvis, C., & MacInnes, J. (2015). Leadership development: A place for storytelling and Greek mythology?. Management Learning, 46(4), 412-426.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Journal Management Learning
Print ISSN 1350-5076
Electronic ISSN 1461-7307
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 4
Pages 412-426
Keywords Greek mythology, leadership development, sensemaking, social construction, storytelling
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Article first published online 04 December 2014