Department of Business Humanities and Law

Leadership and Contemporary Challenges

Research Group: Leadership and Contemporary Challenges


The Leadership and Contemporary Challenges group (LCC) explores leadership in relation to the major challenges that organizations and society are facing in the twentieth-first century. Amongst these challenges are climate change, digitalization, and a growing polarization in society. 

Existing research on leadership has predominantly assumed an individualistic and heroic subject, able to take the lead on contemporary challenges and their solutions. Leadership is in this way idealized as the key to develop answers to complex societal challenges. In contrast, this research group explores how the grand challenges of our society today influence the practice and construction of contemporary leadership. By adopting a relational and processual understanding of "leadership", LCC examines how societal challenges put different demands on leadership, and how these challenges demand us to reconsider inherited understandings of the relation between leadership and action. 

In doing so, the LCC research group confronts a variety of contemporary challenges with traditional leadership research, in order to show how these challenges constitute leadership in new and surprising ways. We interrogate existing ideals of leadership, such as transformational leadership or authentic leadership, not to replace them with new leadership ideals, but rather to do justice to the complexity of the new challenges that we face on an individual, organizational, and societal level. This not only enables us to locate leadership in contemporary challenges but also to challenge 'leadership' in the way we understand it today. 

Focus areas:

  • Creative leadership and entrepreneurship 
  • Leadership ethics 
  • Responsible, sustainable leadership 
  • Algorithmic leadership 
  • Leadership in the public sector 
  • Regenerative leadership 
  • Leadership and hybridity 
  • Leadership and well-being 
  • Leadership and diversity 
  • Leadership and work time reduction 
  • Leadership in 'leaderless' organizations 


Contact point Sverre Spoelstra,
The page was last edited by: Department of Business Humanities and Law // 06/07/2023