An idea in good currency: collaborative leadership in the national security community

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Research team

Research summary

NSC Occasional Paper No 1 addressed the nature, importance and shared understanding of collaborative leadership in Australia’s national security community.

The concept of collaborative leadership has emerged as potentially a new method of operating within Australia’s national security community, however, the meaning of collaborative leadership has yet to be clearly defined.

Published in November 2011, this paper addresses questions surrounding the meaning of collaborative leadership in the national security community and how national security professionals are educated about it.

Author Dr Rodger Shanahan provides a working definition of collaborative leadership for educative purposes and explores the extent to which a shared understanding of collaborative leadership exists in today’s national security community.

Interviews with over thirty senior national security professionals in Australia indicate that there is a reasonably good shared understanding of what constitutes collaborative leadership in the national security setting.

This paper contains three sections:

  1. Towards a Shared Understanding of Collaborative Leadership
  2. Exercising Collaborative Leadership in the National Security Community
  3. Promoting Collaborative Leadership through Education
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