Leadership, genre, communication


Leadership Studies | Social Influence and Political Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies


Jerry Stinnett


When most people think of genre, they think of works that fall into categories such as fiction, nonfiction, etc. Genre typically is understood as the way in which a reader can recognize a specific text as falling into a category of similar texts, such as a plotline that focuses solely on the main character falling for a romantic interest being considered a romance novel. However, genre does not strictly have to pertain to physical text such as romance novels and does more work than simply categorizing a type of text. In simple terms, genre is a set of guidelines used by individual to explain, interpret, and negotiate interaction (Devitt, 576-577). As a collection of interactions involving communication between individuals, leadership, then, can be analyzed using the lens of genre. Through this perspective, leadership can be broken down into a system of genres – unique situations in which the conventions and characteristics of leadership must be applied to interactions, both in written and spoken forms. How might the theoretical concept of “genre” help us better understand leadership and help leaders interact more effectively?