Organization Management Journal


Adopting a social constructionist approach to the teaching of leadership, we asked students in a required course in management to find or create and submit a digital image that captures leadership as they see it. Our intention was to help students understand their own perceptions of leadership and to see how their perceptions compare to those of others. We have run this exercise for the last 10 years (2000–2009), and to date we have collected 5037 digital images. These images are used throughout the course to demonstrate the relevance of the subject, to enrich the discussion of leadership theories, to help embed the teaching, and to illuminate classroom exercises and team project work. This social constructionist approach aligns the course’s philosophical stance on leadership with its pedagogy. In addition, this approach has allowed us to capture students’ collective lay theory of leadership which offers a valuable counterpoint to extant theories of leadership. Moreover, this approach lends further support to the use of a socially constructed approach to leadership education.