Distributed leadership and employee cynicism: Trade unions as joint change agents

Peter Butler, Olga Tregaskis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The themes of change management and workplace partnership continue to attract significant academic interest – albeit within discreet literatures. Drawing on longitudinal, qualitative data in a heavy engineering organization this article details how a collaborative partnership between management and trade unions, encompassing a distributed’ leadership format, was configured to enhance organizational capacity for change in the context of significant employee cynicism. Bridging human resource management/organizational behaviour and industrial relations perspectives the works makes a theoretical contribution to our understanding of the factors underpinning the successful implementation of workplace partnership and the utilisation of distributed leadership configurations. More generally the work informs leadership theory through its scrutiny of distributed leadership in situations of high conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-554
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number4
Early online date7 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • change management
  • social partnership
  • leadership

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