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Uniwersytet SWPS - Logo

International Interdisciplinary Conference: Failed Leadership

International Interdisciplinary Conference: Failed Leadership



International interdisciplinary conference




Failed Leadership










Organizers: SWPS University, University of Warsaw , Collegium Civitas, Institute of Political Studies PAN, Polish Political Science Association

It is hard to miss the growing preoccupation with leadership and leaders among those who study politics and business. The focus is on the role of individuals in defining directions for development or simply in the decision making process. A great majority of scholars and analysts base their findings on cases of positive examples of leadership. Naturally, they do notice the cases of failed leadership, however those do not earn equally systematic and comprehensive coverage. With this conference we would like to re-focus the attention of leadership studies on the events, patterns, models, measurements and methodologies, which underlie cases of failed leadership, be it in politics, business, NGOs, or in society at large.

June 21-22
9:00 - 19:00


Friday, June 21, 2019

9:00 Opening ceremony

9:15 - 9:50 Keynote Lecture: "Flying Saucer of Leadership" - Prof. Richard Little, University of Cumbria, UK

9:50 - 11:30 Session 1: "General Reflection on Leadership"

11:30 - 11:45 Cofee break

11:45 - 13:45 Session 1 continued

13:45 - 14:30 Lunch break

14:30 - 16:45 Session 2: "Business Research and Reflection"

16:45 - 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 - 19:00 Session 3: "Open Issues on Leadership"

19:00 Summary of Day 1

Saturday, June 22, 2019

9:00 - 9:35 Keynote Lecture: "Leadership Derailing and Failures: Where Central&World Matches Differ" - Rostislav Benak, Assessment System, Czech Republik

9:35 - 11:30 Session 4: "Political Cases on Leadership"

11:30 - 11:45 Coffee break

11:45 - 13:45 Session 5 continued

13:45 - 14:30 Lunch break

14:30 - 16:45 Session 6: "Psychology and Leadership"

16:45 - 17:00 Cofee break

17:00 - 19:00 Session 6 continued

19:00 Summary of Day 2


Call for Papers
Deadline April 30, 2019

Intuitively, we know that failure is more than a mere reversal of success. It is a situation which is a product of complicated interplay of factors: systemic, institutional, organizational, cultural and personal. It’s consequences reach beyond the people immediately involved in each case. We are confident that by studying failures of leadership we can reach a better understanding of the nature of leadership in the 21st century.

We would like to invite scholars (not only those, who are well into their careers, but also young researchers who are just beginning their research paths), non-academic analysts and practitioners who would like to talk about the following topics:

  • situations which can be considered failures of leadership
  • causes and consequences of failed leadership
  • social and institutional factors, which determine the scope and nature of failures
  • psychological sources of failure
  • crisis/risk management techniques which lead to failure
  • institutional determinants of failure
  • cultural determinants of failure
  • elements of social, economic and political systems conducive to successful leadership
  • post-failure behavior of leaders
  • rationalization/legitimization of failure (in communication)
  • short and long term psychological /organizational or social consequences of leadership failure
  • philosophical and cultural considerations of leadership failure
  • re-establishing balance in a system/organization after leadership failure?

Because we believe that a multi-faceted discussion will allow us to conceptualize the very idea of failed leadership in the best possible way, we would like to bring together not only scholars who research leadership, but also practitioners who exercise it daily, from a broad spectrum of public life, including business, politics, NGOs, education as well as the arts and culture sector.

Publications: Organizers are planning to publish either a peer reviewed volume, comprising conference texts, or publish the articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Important Dates:

April 30, 2019 - deadline for submitting proposals of individual papers (max. 500 characters) or three-person panels (max. 1,500 characters), including short bios (max. 300 characters)
 May 10, 2019 - announcement of accepted proposals 

Conference Fee:

  • EUR 130 (PLN 500) - passive participants

The fee includes: conference materials, coffee breaks, catering, and the cost of publication.


The organizers can recommend accommodation options with a 20 % discount off regular price.


  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Leadership Studies Division American Studies Center, University of Warsaw
  • Collegium Civitas
  • Institute of Political Studies PAN
  • Polish Political Science Association, Leadership and Methodology Sections
  • Alumni Association of the Kościuszko Foundation

 logotypy failed leadership2

Date and Location

June 21-22, 2019
SWPS University Chodakowska 19/31, rooms S305 and S306
03-815 Warsaw


e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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