Journal Article

Leadership Development Evaluation (LDE): Reflections on a collaboratory approach


Purpose. This paper reports on the experience of attempting a ‘collaboratory’ approach in sharing knowledge about leadership development evaluation (LDE). A collaboratory intertwines ‘collaboration’ and ‘laboratory’ to create innovation networks for all sorts of social and technological problems. Approach. The authors, alongside a variety of public and private sector organisations, created the collaboratory. Within the process, we collected various forms of qualitative data (including interviews, observations, letter writing and postcards). Findings. Our findings show key areas of resonance, namely the ability for participants to network, a creation of a dynamic shift in thinking and practice and the effective blending of theory and practice. Importantly, there are some critiques of the collaboratory approach discussed, including complications around: a lack of ‘laboratory’ (hence bringing into question the idea of collaboratory itself), and the need to further develop the facilitation of such events. Originality. Our originality is to ultimately question whether the network actually achieved the collaboratory in reality. We conclude, however, that there were some distinct benefits within our collaborations, especially around issues associated with LDE, and we provide recommendations for academics and practitioners in terms of trying similar initiatives.

Attached files


Smith, Simon M.
Edwards, Gareth
Palmer, Adam
Bolden, Richard
Watton, Emma

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-05

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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