Edited by Gerard Seijts and Karen MacMillan

Leadership in Practice; Theory and Cases in Leadership Character

Recent financial crises and other high-profile mismanagement cases have brought a spotlight to the quality of leader character in the business sector. Leadership in Practice is the first book to provide an authoritative collection of cases to engage students interested in the importance of the character of business leaders.

The authors have compiled a collection of cutting-edge cases and readings, situating them within a theoretical landscape, so students are familiarized with the concepts as they move through the text. The cases cover a wide range of successful businesses—from the NFL to Apple—and include notable controversies, such as those surrounding Enron and Volkswagen. Alongside exclusive interviews and insights into the value of leadership character at individual, team, organizational and societal levels, the book includes learning objectives and discussion questions to facilitate lively debate and interaction in the classroom.

Leadership in Practice will be a valuable supplement for students and instructors in any leadership class as well as researchers and practitioners interested in exploring case studies that illuminate the nature of leadership in a business setting.

Reviews:Ilse Oosterlaken on Moral Markets wrote:

Leadership in Practice is primarily intended for business administration students. The editors are Gerard Seijts (a Canadian professor of organizational behavior) and Karen MacMillan (associate professor of organizational behavior and HRM, also in Canada). The aim of the book, they explain, is to make students understand the importance of character formation, to give them a vocabulary to reflect on it and to illustrate how this can be applied in practice. [...] Leadership in Practice is based on social science research, more specifically on a well-known framework developed by Mary Crossan, Gerard Seijts, and Jeffrey Gandz. This framework is explained in the introduction. It divides exemplary leadership in three components: character, competencies and commitment – the so-called 3C model. A character dimension, in turn, is also a combination of three elements: values, virtues and personality traits. The introduction distinguishes 11 of such dimensions of character, namely drive, collaboration, humanity, humility, integrity, temperance, justice, accountability, courage, transcendence and judgment. The last one, judgment, takes a special place within this list, it is the central dimensions to which all other dimensions contribute. At first glance similar to the central place that practical wisdom occupies in the virtue ethics of Aristotle. The 31 chapters of the book contains are organized according to four levels of leadership: individual, team, organization and society. The book contains two types of chapters, namely cases written as educational material (18 chapters), interspersed with reprinted articles (13 pieces). Most of the latter chapters provide theoretical background for the cases."


Table of Contents of Leadership in Practice

Part I: Leadership at the Individual Level

  1. The cross-enterprise leader (Mary M. Crossan, Jeffrey Gandz and Gerard Seijts)
  2. Developing leadership character (Mary M. Crossan, Jeffrey Gandz and Gerard Seijts)
  3. Bob Franklin: Fish or cut bait? (Mary M. Crossan and W.J. Furlong)
  4. Sophia Tannis: The European transfer (Gerard Seijts and Kanina Blanchard)
  5. Michael Boulos: A career derailed (Gerard Seijts and Kanina Blanchard)
  6. Good leaders never stop learning (Gerard Seijts)
  7. Why vulnerability leads to great leadership (Gerard Seijts)
  8. Donglegate: Candour through social media (Charlice Hurst, Karen MacMillan and Thomas Watson)
  9. Deconstructing Donglegate: Lessons from an HR fiasco (Charlice Hurst, Karen MacMillan and Thomas Watson)
  10. Somebody stop the radio star: Jian Ghomeshi at the CBC (Karen MacMillan and Meredith Woodwark)

Part II: Leadership at the Team Level

  1. AltaGas Ltd: Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project (Gerard Seijts and Karen MacMillan)
  2. The Christchurch earthquake and Crusaders rugby (A) (Murray J. Bryant and Brad Evans)
  3. Learning from boardroom perspectives on leader character (Gerard Seijts, Jeffrey Gandz, Alyson Byrne and Mary M. Crossan)
  4. Losing Anthopoulos is major league loss for Blue Jays (Gerard Seijts)
  5. The NFL should value character as much as talent (Gerard Seijts)

Part III: Leadership at the Organizational Level

  1. Craig Kielburger: Rescue mission accomplished! (Mary M. Crossan and Mark Reno)
  2. Apple (A) (Mary M. Crossan and Thomas Watson)
  3. Apple (B) (Mary M. Crossan and Thomas Watson)
  4. Boldly go: Character drives leadership at providence healthcare (Mary Weil and Chitra P. Reddin)
  5. Rogue learnings (Gerard Seijts)
  6. Enron explained (Gerard Seijts)
  7. The cultural battle of the Australian army (Gerard Seijts, Jana Seijts and Paul Bigus)
  8. ING Direct Canada: Are you suffering? (Gerard Seijts and Andy Holloway)
  9. Fixing Volkswagen requires manufacturing candid conversations (Gerard Seijts)

Part IV: Leadership at the Societal Level

  1. The Rising Price of Bad Leadership (Gerard Seijts)
  2. Invictus: Introducing leadership competencies, character and commitment (Gerard Seijts, Jeffrey Gandz and Mary M. Crossan)
  3. Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. (A): The listeriosis crisis (Jeffrey Gandz)
  4. Iceland’s Landsbanki Islands HF: Where to from here? (Murray J. Bryant, Gerard Seijts and Michael R. King)
  5. The Ivey Interview: Steinthor Palsson (Gerard Seijts)
  6. Civic Action (A): Launching a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative (Jean-Louis Schaan and Gerard Seijts)
  7. SEWA (A): Ela Bhatt (Sonia Mehrotra and Oana Branzei)
  • Conclusion (Gerard Seijts and Karen MacMillan)

About Seijts, MacMillan and Crossan

Gerard SeijtsGerard Seijts is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Ivey Business School at Western University, Canada. His research activities cover a wide range of topics including leadership, change, goal setting, training and development, teams, organizational justice, and performance management. He also enjoys writing practitioner-oriented articles. He is the author of Good Leaders Learn and co-author of Developing Leadership Character, both published by Routledge. Gerard is teaching on several leadership programs. For example, he has worked with organizations including Aecon, Intact Financial Corporation, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Maple Leaf Foods, J.D. Irving Limited, Hutchison Ports, Cigna, A.S. Watson, Bank of China Hong Kong and many others.

Karen MacMillanKaren MacMillan is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. Karen's research interests include employee voice, leadership, followership, candour and leader-member exchange (LMX).After graduating with an MASc from the University of Waterloo, Karen worked in industry for 15 years in a number of progressive roles including HR Manager, HR Director, and management consultant. She later returned to school to pursue advanced studies, and received a PhD in Organizational Behaviour from the Ivey School of Business at Western in 2013.

Mary CrossanMary Crossan is a Distinguished University Professor – Western's highest honour recognizing excellence in teaching, research and service over a substantial career at Western. She teaches in the undergraduate, MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Programs. Her research on organizational learning, strategy, leadership character and improvisation has been widely published. Her research, case–writing and consulting have provided broad exposure to companies around the world.