Conceptualising leadership and emotions in higher education: wellbeing as wholeness

Sabre Cherkowski, Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Keith Walker, Megan Crawford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    194 Downloads (Pure)


    In this conceptual article the authors outline an approach to leadership in higher education that foregrounds attention to wholeness and wellbeing, framing emotion as inherent to the practice of leadership, with all organizing actions inseparable from and influenced by emotion. The article is framed within findings from their research on wellbeing in schools and positive organizational scholarship that intentionally foregrounds virtues and positive human capacities as essential and vital to thriving for individuals and groups in organizations. The authors reflect on the benefits and potentials of re-orienting leadership toward the more life-giving qualities of work in higher education, and suggest that this generative reflection may serve to counter the predominant stances of competition and scarcity-mindsets that seem to pervade academia. This positive organizational stance toward leadership in higher education is timely given the increasing focus on encouraging wellbeing among administrators at all levels of the education system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-171
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of educational administration and history
    Issue number2
    Early online date12 Oct 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Journal of educational administration and history. Cherkowski, S, Kutsyuruba, B, Walker, K & Crawford, M 2021, 'Conceptualising leadership and emotions in higher education: wellbeing as wholeness', Journal of Educational Administration and History, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 158-171.

    It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada?s Insight [grant number F16-04511].


    • emotions and leadership
    • flourishing in higher education
    • Positive leadership

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Sociology and Political Science


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