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Third sector leadership: vexing issues and the power of narrative

Macmillan, Rob and McLaren, Vic (2012) Third sector leadership: vexing issues and the power of narrative. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham.


URL of Published Version: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Pb6rd6wJ9nM%3d&tabid=500


The third sector is experiencing a radical shift in its political and economic environment. It is possible that it may be undergoing a significant transformation in its shape, its role and its relationship with the state. However, much of the third sector’s conversation appears to be focused on questions of organisational survival and resilience. There seems to be precious little overall discussion of the deeper question of what the sector is in the process of becoming, or what role it should play through and beyond the contemporary politics of austerity. There appears to be no sustained sector-wide conversation about the potential transformation underway. Drawing on academic literature on leadership, this paper outlines a version of third sector leadership as involving strategic narrative, as discursive intervention to frame and shape the direction of debate. The paper calls for a more open and vigorous conversation about the role and future of the third sector, and the potential for developing a big narrative for the third sector and civil society.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Third Sector Research Centre

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Date:01 March 2012
Series/Collection Name:TSRC Research Report
Keywords:Third sector; leadership; strategic narrative; civil society.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:Third Sector Research Centre
ID Code:1776

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