Over the last decade, rural leadership policies and programmes have attracted substantial support from all tiers of government. These policies are promulgated as a support mechanism for enhancing the internal capacity of rural communities to adjust to changes in the social and political-economic landscape. Leadership training programmes have been the primary mode for implementing such support. These training programmes are based on the concept that effective leadership within rural communities can be orchestrated, largely from the skills and actions of the individual leader. However, contemporary leadership literature, drawn from a range of contexts, suggests the nature of leadership is influenced by the context in which it is derived and bounded. Effective leadership is not simply about the skills of the individual but also the skills and actions of the followers, and relative access to social resources. This paper presented a review of leadership within 12 endogenous community development projects in small Australian rural communities. Leadership was found to be a complex process, the nature of which could change over the course of the project. While it was found that the skills of the individual leader did influence the nature of the leadership, so to did the social networks, skills and actions of followers.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|