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Church leaders’ narratives: An exploration in uncertainty and complexity (2011)
Presentation / Conference
Simpson, P. (2011, March). Church leaders’ narratives: An exploration in uncertainty and complexity. Paper presented at Fourth Conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research (RNMR) 2011

Organizational uncertainty and change sometimes requires leaders to practice the art of engaging with not knowing. At its simplest this art constitutes the act of moving forwards with the conscious awareness that all decision making is based on infor... Read More about Church leaders’ narratives: An exploration in uncertainty and complexity.

Philosophy of leadership (2011)
Book Chapter
Case, P., French, R., & Simpson, P. (2011). Philosophy of leadership. In A. Bryman, D. Collinson, K. Grint, B. Jackson, & M. Uhl-Bien (Eds.), SAGE Handbook of Leadership, 685-727. Sage

We do not intend this chapter to be simply a dry chronicle or catalogue of leadership philosophies. For one thing, even were such an audacious project pursued, it would doubtless prove to be more than anyone could possibly accomplish in a lifetime an... Read More about Philosophy of leadership.

Downplaying leadership. Researching how leaders talk about themselves (2011)
Book Chapter
French, R., & Simpson, P. (2011). Downplaying leadership. Researching how leaders talk about themselves. In D. Bell (Ed.), Political LeadershipSage

This chapter identifies the notion of downplaying leadership. Whilst 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. Th... Read More about Downplaying leadership. Researching how leaders talk about themselves.

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.

Creative development in Bion’s work group: The desire for knowledge and the pursuit of truth (2009)
Presentation / Conference
Simpson, P., French, R., & Sheffield, R. (2009, July). Creative development in Bion’s work group: The desire for knowledge and the pursuit of truth. Paper presented at 25th EGOS Colloquium

In this paper we seek to contribute to the extensive literature utilising Bion’s theory of group functioning by employing a more developed treatment of the work-group than is commonly employed. Whilst we continue to recognise the value of an understa... Read More about Creative development in Bion’s work group: The desire for knowledge and the pursuit of truth.

Negative capability: A contribution to the understanding of creative leadership (2009)
Book Chapter
French, R., Simpson, P., & Harvey, C. (2009). Negative capability: A contribution to the understanding of creative leadership. In B. Sievers, H. Brunning, J. De Gooijer, & L. Gould (Eds.), Psychoanalytic Studies of Organizations: Contributions from the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of OrganizationsKarnac Books

Our aim in this chapter is to suggest how the idea of ‘negative capability’ may contribute to an understanding of the creative leader. We begin by exploring the origins of the term negative capability and its meaning in the creative arts and in psych... Read More about Negative capability: A contribution to the understanding of creative leadership.

Creative dialogue (2008)
Book Chapter
Simpson, P., & Beeby, M. (2008). Creative dialogue. In M. Broussine (Ed.), Creative Methods in Organizational Research, 53-69. Sage

Stories (2008)
Book Chapter
Simpson, P. (2008). Stories. In M. Broussine (Ed.), Creative Methods in Organizational Research, 92-107. Sage

Contemplative leadership (2007)
Presentation / Conference
Simpson, P., & Tredget, D. (2007, December). Contemplative leadership. Paper presented at 6th International Studying Leadership Conference

The leadership of change involves both an engagement with uncertainty and an expectation to be the one to provide certainty for others. This paper will reflect on the nature of contemplative leadership, suggesting that it involves engaging with this... Read More about Contemplative leadership.

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.