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Title: Contested sensemaking and everyday leadership practices in the context of UK parliamentary select committees
Author: Stansfield, Annette
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 6384
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is an exploratory study of everyday leadership in UK parliamentary select committees. It is based on a detailed analysis of the parliamentary context for leadership and highlights the distinctive characteristics of a chair’s everyday select committee leadership practices. It examines how a chair addresses the challenges involved in the social processes of mobilising and aligning committee members and stakeholders around the committee’s purpose: making sense of complex and contentious public policy dilemmas. While still largely bound by parliamentary routines and tradition, select committees offer chairs increasing opportunities for flexibility, influence and leadership. Based on privileged research access to the workings of select committees, this is a real-time embedded comparative case study of similarities and differences in the enactment of leadership across two parallel contemporaneous inquiries within the same committee. It highlights the significance of sensemaking and sensegiving to leadership while proposing that the politicised context accentuates how challenge and conflict are integral to the daily enactment of leadership, which is often more volatile and much harder work than the literature suggests. It builds on existing leadership theory to contribute a novel conception of leadership, based on an adaptive combination of sensegiving, praxis and challenge in this context, with potentially wider application.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral