A Silent Cry for Leadership: Organizing for Leading (in) Clusters

Jörg Sydow, Frank Lerch, Chris Huxham, Paul Charles Hibbert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    79 Citations (Scopus)


    Leadership research so far has neglected regional clusters as a particular context, while research on networks and clusters has hardly studied leadership issues. This paper fills this dual gap in the abundant research on leadership on the one hand and on networks/clusters on the other by investigating leadership in four prominent photonics clusters in England, Scotland, Germany and the United States. Apart from giving an insight into the variety and patterns of leadership practices observed in these clusters, the paper addresses the dilemma that regional innovation systems such as clusters usually have a critical need of some kind of leadership, but that neither individual nor organizational actors wish to be led. This dilemma or paradox can only be ‘managed’ by organizing for leading (in) clusters in a way that takes into account the tensions and contradictions surrounding leadership of and in clusters. The argument is based upon the idea of leading as reflexive structuration that has far-reaching implications for leadership research not only in this and other macro contexts but also in more traditional contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)328-343
    JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
    Issue number2
    Early online date11 Mar 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


    • cluster
    • leadership
    • structuration
    • relation
    • network
    • organizing


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