Publication

A critical Review of Race and Ethnicity in the Leadership Literature: Surfacing Context, Power and the Collective Dimensions of Leadership.
The Leadership Quarterly, 20  

Ospina, S. and E. G. Foldy
01/01/2009


Leadership studies focusing on race–ethnicity provide particularly rich contexts to illuminate the human condition as it pertains to leadership. Yet insights about the leadership experience of people of color from context-rich research within education, communications and black studies remain marginal in the field. Our framework integrates these, categorizing reviewed studies according to the effects of race–ethnicity on perceptions of leadership, the effects of race–ethnicity on leadership enactments, and actors' approach to the social reality of race–ethnicity. The review reveals a gradual convergence of theories of leadership and theories of race–ethnicity as their relational dimensions are increasingly emphasized. A shift in the conceptualization of race–ethnicity in relation to leadership is reported, from a constraint to a personal resource to a simultaneous consideration of its constraining and liberating capacity. Concurrent shifts in the treatment of context, power, agency versus structure and causality are also explored, as are fertile areas for future research.