Macquarie University
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Leadership transformation: what does it take for a traditional manager to transform into a contemporary leader?

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posted on 2022-03-28, 15:46 authored by Peter Andrew Fuda
My research question is what does it take for a traditional manager to transform into a contemporary leader? It was born from frustration with the extant leadership literature of the positivist tradition and an opportunity to draw on privileged access to seven CEOs who had demonstrated positive shifts in both their leadership effectiveness and organisational performance, supported by additional quantitative third party evidence of their 'leadership transformation'. Invoking the work of key social constructionist authors, I have used a narrative approach to explore how the CEOs interpreted the nature and causes of their transformation 'success'. Drawing on in-depth interviews with the seven CEOs, and collaboration with a broader 'community of research', I developed seven reflective narratives to provide insight into the character and context of each CEO's journey. The narratives are then interpreted by way of seven metaphors designed to be used in a 'generative' fashion to stimulate further insights into leadership transformation. The contribution of this study to management practitioners, my primary audience, is to inspire reflection and action. This contribution has already begun through speaking engagements that have been completed by me and the CEOs in this study to several thousand members of my management practitioner audience.


Alternative Title

From traditional manager to contemporary leader

Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Methodology -- 3. Narratives -- 4. Seven metaphors for leadership transformation -- 5. Conclusion -- Appendices


"September 2010" Bibliography: p. 268-276 Supplementary material included with thesis manuscript. Includes one DVD containing: CEO presentations (from the 11th Australian conference on leadership & culture - September 2009), featuring Mike Shove, Jim Varghese, Clynton Bartholemeusz and Paul Timmins talking about aspects of their leadership experiences; presentation by Peter Fuda on his formative thoughts about the Seven Metaphors for Leadership Transformation.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis professional doctorate


Thesis (DBA), Macquarie University, Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Richard Badham






276 p. ill. (some col.), ports

Former Identifiers

mq:11790 1441188