Reflections: studying organizational change leadership as a subfield

Mark Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organizational change scholars frequently engage with academic disciplines such as economics and sociology as well as fields of study such as leadership studies and human resource management studies. Whilst, there has been considerable interest in interrelationships between academic disciplines, interrelationships between management fields of study referred to here as subfields are rarely discussed. As the organization of subfields is significant to studying organizational change, I reflect upon my own learning and frustrations in studying organizational change leadership as a subfield. I suggest that the 1950s hopes for convergent management sciences may still influence thinking about fields and subfields. I highlight the confusing semantics of management subfields and offer quantification through co-citation analysis as one possible way forward. I candidly reflect upon the challenges researching a relevant practitioner orientated subfield raises and also the joy of crossing boundaries between fields. In conclusion, I use the metaphor of a bridge to convey my own learning about interrelationships between the fields of organizational change studies and leadership studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Change Management
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Change Management on 18/10/2017, available online:


  • Organizational change studies
  • leadership studies
  • subfield
  • academic discipline


Dive into the research topics of 'Reflections: studying organizational change leadership as a subfield'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this