Courage in leadership: a narrative study

Show simple item record Nuckchady, Girish 2016-12-19T07:08:13Z 2016-12-19T07:08:13Z 2016
dc.identifier.citation Nuckchady, Girish (2016) Courage in leadership : a narrative study, University of the Witwatersrand, <>
dc.description A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Johannesburg, November 2015 en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this research is to explore the role of courage in leadership. A review of the relevant literature showed that leadership has been widely studied but is still not well understood while courage has scarcely been studied and is still diversely defined. It has been found that courage rarely has a place in leadership and management frameworks. Leaders in Mauritius were interviewed on their experiences of courage. As this research is of exploratory nature, a qualitative design was adopted and unstructured interviews were used. A Narrative Analysis of the transcripts was carried out in a two-step process: Stories were extracted from the interview transcripts in a deductive manner using a three-dimensional approach consisting of personal, social and temporal dimensions. The stories were then inductively analysed to derive meaning from them using thematic and performative analysis. This research has three main contributions. First, the manifestation of courage follows a cycle of four stages, starting from the Trigger Stage, followed by the Barrier Stage, Thoughts & Actions Stage and Ending Stage. Throughout the life of the leader, one cycle feeds the next cycle and so on. Furthermore, the contexts under which courage were displayed were: Change, Pro-Active Vision, Identity Tensions and Response. Second, the following drivers of courage were identified: the external drivers Greater Cause, Support, and Sacrificing Something, and the internal disposition courage drivers Positive & Forward Looking, Self-Consciousness, Calculated Risk-taking, Values & Beliefs, Emotional Balance & Control, Prior Experience, Perseverance & Focus, and Ownership & Independency. The internal courage drivers activated in the transition between the Trigger and Barrier stages were equivalent to “Courage to Be” while the external courage drivers activated between the Barrier and Thoughts & Actions stages were equivalent to “Courage to Act”. Furthermore, it was found that leadership skills act as mere facilitators of courage and courage drivers need to be present to drive courageous acts. It was also seen that some of the drivers of courage are very close to qualities of authentic leadership. Third, the research has made a methodological contribution in terms of the development of a systematic approach to the use of narrative analysis in management research. The implications from the findings are that courage development cannot be excluded from leadership development and can start in schools as well as in organisations as an on-going process, and that the methods of analysis developed in this research can be applied. en_ZA
dc.format.extent Online resource (xv, 403 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Leadership--Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Discourse analysis, Narrative
dc.subject.lcsh Courage
dc.title Courage in leadership: a narrative study en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.description.librarian MB2016 en_ZA

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