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Working with attention and distraction in leadership development (2019)
Journal Article
French, R., Sheffield, R., & Simpson, P. (2019). Working with attention and distraction in leadership development. Organisational and Social Dynamics, 19(2), 230-248

Bion’s theory of groups is used to explore the dynamics of learning on a leadership development programme. The dynamic of a group is influenced by the capacity of its members to negotiate, consciously and unconsciously, the tension between the oppose... Read More about Working with attention and distraction in leadership development.

Caring Leadership: A Heideggerian Perspective (2015)
Journal Article
Tomkins, L., & Simpson, P. (2015). Caring Leadership: A Heideggerian Perspective. Organization Studies, 36(8), 1013-1031. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840615580008

© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. This paper develops the idea of caring leadership based on Heidegger’s philosophy of care. From this perspective, caring leadership is grounded in the practices of ‘leaping-in’ and ‘leaping-ahead’ as modes of interventio... Read More about Caring Leadership: A Heideggerian Perspective.

Journeying and the experiential gaze in research: Theorizing as a form of knowing (2014)
Journal Article
French, R., Gaggiotti, H., & Simpson, P. (2014). Journeying and the experiential gaze in research: Theorizing as a form of knowing. Culture and Organization, 20(3), 185-195. https://doi.org/10.1080/14759551.2014.894515

In this paper we consider the implications of the ideas of journeying and the experiential gaze for research practice. We do so by drawing first upon Plato’s allegory of the Cave as a representation of the journey of the philosopher to see reality, i... Read More about Journeying and the experiential gaze in research: Theorizing as a form of knowing.

Leadership Matters: Tensions in Evaluating Leadership Development (2013)
Journal Article
Jarvis, C., Gulati, A., McCririck, V., & Simpson, P. (2013). Leadership Matters: Tensions in Evaluating Leadership Development. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 15(1), 27-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/1523422312467138

The Problem. This article explores some of the tensions that required careful management in the design and delivery of a leadership development program. This discussion draws particularly upon a formal evaluation of two cohorts, each comprising appro... Read More about Leadership Matters: Tensions in Evaluating Leadership Development.

From theoria to theory: Leadership without contemplation (2012)
Journal Article
Case, P., French, R., & Simpson, P. (2012). From theoria to theory: Leadership without contemplation. Organization, 19(3), 345-361. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508412437072

This paper explores the transition of the theological and philosophical concept of theoria – contemplation - to the modern notion of theory. Theory derives linguistically from theoria and retains a connection with knowledge. However, it has lost and,... Read More about From theoria to theory: Leadership without contemplation.

Complexity and change management: Analyzing church leaders' narratives (2012)
Journal Article
Simpson, P. (2012). Complexity and change management: Analyzing church leaders' narratives. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25(2), 283-296. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811211213955

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel approach to the analysis of individual and co-constructed change management narratives, utilizing a framework derived from the theory of complex responsive processes. Design/methodology/appro... Read More about Complexity and change management: Analyzing church leaders' narratives.

The 'work group': Redressing the balance in Bion's experiences in groups (2010)
Journal Article
French, R. B., French, R., & Simpson, P. (2010). The 'work group': Redressing the balance in Bion's experiences in groups. Human Relations, 63(12), 1859-1878. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726710365091

The intention of this article is to explore and develop Wilfred Bion's theory of groups, and to contribute to its wider application across the social sciences. Bion suggested that groups operate simultaneously in two strictly contrasting ways, based... Read More about The 'work group': Redressing the balance in Bion's experiences in groups.

Engaging with the unknowable through narratives of personal experience (2010)
Journal Article
Simpson, P. (2010). Engaging with the unknowable through narratives of personal experience. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 23(2), 173-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811011031355

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential function of narratives of personal experience in engaging with unknowable reality. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on research on managers working with the unknown using narr... Read More about Engaging with the unknowable through narratives of personal experience.

Engaging with the unknowable through narratives of personal experience (2010)
Journal Article
Simpson, P. (2010). Engaging with the unknowable through narratives of personal experience. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 23(2), 173-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811011031355

Purpose: This paper explores the potential function of narratives of personal experience in engaging with unknowable reality. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on research on managers working with the unknown using narrative methods toget... Read More about Engaging with the unknowable through narratives of personal experience.

Organizing in the mist: A case study in leadership and complexity (2007)
Journal Article
Simpson, P. (2007). Organizing in the mist: A case study in leadership and complexity. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 28(5), 465-482. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730710761751

Purpose - This paper aims to help develop an understanding of how complexity theory may beapplied to an understanding of leadership and organizational dynamics and contributes to the growing body of literature in the same subject. Design/methodology/... Read More about Organizing in the mist: A case study in leadership and complexity.

Negative Capability and the Capacity to Think in the Present Moment: Some Implications for Leadership Practice (2006)
Journal Article
Simpson, P., & French, R. (2006). Negative Capability and the Capacity to Think in the Present Moment: Some Implications for Leadership Practice. Leadership, 2(2), 245-255. https://doi.org/10.1177/1742715006062937

Two themes that are prevalent in the literature on leadership practice are planning for the future and learning from the past. In this ‘Leading Questions’ piece, we raise the question of whether, in addition, attention needs to be given to a third el... Read More about Negative Capability and the Capacity to Think in the Present Moment: Some Implications for Leadership Practice.

Downplaying Leadership: Researching How Leaders Talk About Themselves (2006)
Journal Article
French, R., & Simpson, P. (2006). Downplaying Leadership: Researching How Leaders Talk About Themselves. Leadership, 2(4), 469-479. https://doi.org/10.1177/1742715006068936

This article identifies the notion of downplaying leadership. While some attempt is made to explore the meaning of this practice, our primary intention is to describe a method and framework for analysing the transcripts of leadership interviews. This... Read More about Downplaying Leadership: Researching How Leaders Talk About Themselves.

Thoughtful leadership. Lessons from Bion (2005)
Journal Article
Simpson, P., & French, R. (2005). Thoughtful leadership. Lessons from Bion. Organisational and Social Dynamics, 5(2), 280-297

In the competing discourses within organisations, primacy tends to be given to decisive, action oriented, knowing leadership in contrast to more reflective, patient, thoughtful leadership. This paper argues that there is an important place for ‘thoug... Read More about Thoughtful leadership. Lessons from Bion.

Leadership and negative capability (2002)
Journal Article
Simpson, P., French, R., & Harvey, C. (2002). Leadership and negative capability. Human Relations, 55(10), 1209-1226. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726702055010081

Our aim in this article is to explore and explain the concept of 'negative capability', in the context of the current resurgence of interest in organizational leadership. We suggest that negative capability can create an intermediate space that enabl... Read More about Leadership and negative capability.

Introducing complex systems using the red-blue exercise (2001)
Journal Article
Simpson, P. (2001). Introducing complex systems using the red-blue exercise

The red-blue exercise provides a powerful yet manageable example of a complex system in action. A systems analysis is offered that demonstrates how the exercise may be used as an educational tool to introduce the subject of complex systems.

Leaders achieving focus in the place of not knowing (2000)
Journal Article
Simpson, P., & Burnard, H. (2000). Leaders achieving focus in the place of not knowing. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 21(5), 235-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730010340052

The senior manager's role is to constantly identify and clarify what to focus on and then to direct energy into that focus. This involves learning to gain clarity of purpose within a context of uncertainty and disagreement: the place of not knowing.... Read More about Leaders achieving focus in the place of not knowing.

Using a red-blue exercise to facilitate learning about complex systems (2000)
Journal Article
Simpson, P. (2000). Using a red-blue exercise to facilitate learning about complex systems. Journal of European Industrial Training, 24(5), 291-296. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090590010372065

The red-blue exercise is an example of an iterated prisoner's dilemma (IPD) and is commonly used in educational and training settings to help participants to develop skills in conflict management, negotiation, and inter-group dynamics. In this paper,... Read More about Using a red-blue exercise to facilitate learning about complex systems.

The Upside of the Downside: How Utilizing Defensive Dynamics Can Support Learning in Groups (2000)
Journal Article
Simpson, P., French, R., & Vince, R. (2000). The Upside of the Downside: How Utilizing Defensive Dynamics Can Support Learning in Groups. Management Learning, 31(4), 457-470. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350507600314003

In this paper we suggest that it is important in management education to work with the defensive dynamics in learning groups. Through a consideration of the dynamics within complex systems, we argue that the ways in which these defensive dynamics are... Read More about The Upside of the Downside: How Utilizing Defensive Dynamics Can Support Learning in Groups.