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Title: Enchantment and the mechanical : an autoethnographic inquiry into leadership framed within a cosmic and ecological story
Author: Riddiford, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 3049
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2016
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What difference would it make writing and sharing autoethnographic stories that locate self within the context of ecology and evolutionary cosmology? How might it change the way I understood my role as a leader of an environmental education charity? Would it help me to step into, let go of and share power? Through this inquiry I have recognised myself as being indigenous to the Cosmos; an identity which I maintain provides context and foundation for collaborative leadership. It is an identity that liberates inherited and often unconscious views of the universe as a machine of separate parts into a living story which endlessly reveals the dynamics of an integrated whole. As a fifth-generation, Pākehā, (New Zealander of European descent) working in a multicultural setting in the centre of London, I needed to understand two fundamental and seemingly opposing forces that motivate me. One is the opportunistic and single minded drive of the pioneer and the other is a pull to deeper values of connection and wholeness. What shaped my values? Excavating the past made me curious about the shadow colonialism has cast upon the present. I noticed my ambivalence towards the word ‘leadership’ despite being in leadership roles for many years. I paid attention to discomfort in the face of difference and discord. Recognising fractures within a culture built on Arcadian idealism held clues to limited notions of leadership that influenced my behaviour. The Three Baskets of Knowledge, drawn from Māori mythology, helped me find ground beneath the fault lines of the past. Listening to the land and looking back into the depths of time I drew meaning and direction from an ancient and emerging story. Within the 14-billion year account of our origins that science is now revealing, I came home to my own story. I identified with what I consider to be a contemporary form of indigeneity; cosmic indigeneity. I came to welcome non-idealised ways of being and the unpredictable nature of life itself. I learnt to embrace a process of leadership that is fluid and changing, sometimes singular and often collaborative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available