Research into shared forms of leadership reflect different models, or approaches to how it is shared (Dust and Ziegert, 2015). While some of these approaches have filtered into leadership roles, many experiences of leadership sharing still reflect the rotation of single leaders.
Through an exploration of Co-Active Leadership utilising both phenomenology and action research, this study extended extant models and was able to contrast two different approaches of leadership sharing within the context of workshop facilitation. Analysis of semi-structured interviews with 18 workshop participants, six assistants and four leaders resulted in a model describing Co-Active Leadership. This model was then applied to a rotational form of workshop facilitation to understand the differences in approach.
Two forms of interdependence were seen to emerge, relating to role and behaviour. Role interdependence reflected a linear and rotational approach to leadership sharing, resulting in simplicity and clarity of leader interactions and transitions as they formalised turn-taking. Behavioural interdependence involved leaders being connected and dynamically responding to each other as leadership was co-created.
This research informs the discussion of what is being shared within shared forms of leadership. Gaining better understanding of concurrent approaches to leadership sharing enables people to bring teamwork into leadership.