The Journal of Change Management (Journal)

  • Joanne Murphy (Guest editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity


Special Issue on

Multi-Level Leadership for Collective Good

Guest editors: Ben S. Kuipers (Leiden University) & Joanne Murphy (Queens University, Belfast)

The complexity of today’s local and global challenges requires us to look critically at the role of leadership in society, government, business, and national and international networks (Chambers et al., 2010; Ghoshal, 2005; Wilson & McCalman, 2017; Clegg et al., 2021; Crevani et al 2021). To date, the study of leadership has been criticised for:
Being too concerned with formal leaders and too little with leadership (Rost, 1993). Rather than focusing on a small and selective group of people, we are seeking to understand the leadership capabilities and behaviours of many to address the complexity of issues at hand.
Being too focused on effectiveness as an outcome, rather than on purpose (By, 2021). To address the wicked challenges we are facing, such as a pandemic threats or environmental emergencies, both economic and social goals need to be taken into account when researching leadership (e.g. Maak et al., 2021, Avolio & Gardner, 2005).
Lacking contextual considerations (Oc, 2018; Dinh et al, 2014). Without understanding the context in which leadership acts, is shaped and vice versa shapes context we are groping in the dark about the true nature and use of leadership.
Lacking multilevel approaches and analyses (Batistic et al, 2017; Vogel & Masal, 2015). Although we understand the issues and challenges are complex and multi-faceted in themselves, we lack a sound theoretical and empirical basis to see the leadership to address these as a multi-level phenomenon.

This symposium and special issue calls for papers to investigate the macro, meso and micro level characteristics of leadership as well as their interactions to make a difference for the collective good.

We are seeking for papers that investigate leadership empirically and theoretically across and within societies, sectors and organisations (public and private) dealing with collective problems. We invite authors from a variety of fields and disciplines to present their empirical and theoretical contributions to allow for comparison and theory development regarding reconceptualization’s of multi-level leadership and its potential to create purposeful change for collective good.

Among the questions we hope to answer:
What are the multi-level, multi-facet and multi-dimensional characteristics of leadership in addressing global and societal challenges? In this we align ourselves to definitions of leadership ‘as a process rather than a role’ and in relation to the collective exercise of agency to address complex and intractable problems (Clegg et al, 2021).
How does leadership emerge at multiple levels in society, organizations and networks and how does it interact?
In what manner can we contribute to the development of multi-level leadership practices and multi-level leadership theory with purpose or the collective good at its centre, with particular reference to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?

This call seeks to explore these debates and related questions further, first through a Symposium in 12th May 2022 at Queens Management School in Belfast (UK) with an opportunity for papers to be considered for a Special Issue of the Journal of Change Management: Reframing Leadership and Organizational Practice, to follow. The Symposium will be preceded by a dinner on the 11thfor attendees and is aimed to foster the debate and provide further inputs for the development of the work. Submissions to the Special Issue are not limited to contributors of the Symposium.

Period10 Dec 2022
Type of journalJournal
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Leadership