Call for Papers – ELLTA Association

Call for Papers


The core emphasis of the ELLTA Conferences is on Exploring Leadership and Learning Theories in Asia. After three successful international conferences in Malaysia in collaboration with the top universities (details at the end), the 4th International Academic Conference, ELLTA 2017, invites contributions to address the main theme above. The three questions below form the crux of the conference, which the submissions must address:

  1. Relevance of Existing Theories: Are the west-inspired theories on leadership and learning relevant for Asia in general and different contexts in Asia in particular?
  2. Need for Theory Development/ Enrichment: Is there a need to develop theories specific for Asia in general and different contexts in Asia in particular?
  3. Acknowledging Theories with Asian Origin: Are there existing theories on leadership and learning with an Asian origin, which have not received much attention or have not been acknowledged so far?

Leadership and learning, like various other concepts, are often treated as global. Is it, however, wise to assume that the theories and insights related to these concepts (and similar others, such as ‘organizational learning’ and ‘learning organization’) are universal in nature and could be equally applied to all contexts? The question becomes particularly significant when there is also a growing recognition that the majority of these theories that claim to have global application mainly originates in different parts of the Western world (see Dimmock, 1999; Easterby-Smith & Araujo, 1999)?

Let us take the example of Asia, which constitutes of a landscape of diverse geographical, cultural, religious (e.g. Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, etc.), social, socio-economical and socio-political heritage. Most of the civilizations are ancient, and have long-standing traditions of learning and knowledge. The contexts are unique in their multi-dimensionality and so are they in terms of the breadth and nature of challenges faced by the region. Such socio-cultural factors are bound to have their impact on the leadership and learning styles, behaviour, performance and outcomes that cannot be ignored by taking a simplistic, universal approach.

There is, thus, a need to examine/challenge generalizations related to learning and leadership across cultures and geographical boundaries, between East and West, but of course between Eastern contexts as well. That is where the conference invites your contributions. The key strands identified provide specific elaboration of the conference themes.

(Potentially, leading to Special Issues of journals)

  1. Leadership in/ and Context (Asia)

This theme invites contributions on:

  • Applicability/application of general theories on leadership and/or management in Asia;
  • The adaptation of general leadership and/or management theories to particular Asian contexts;
  • Leadership in Asia: Examples of contextually relevant  models;
  • Reviews of existing, but not acknowledged, leadership and/or management theories that have Asian origins, including studies of the use of locally developed theories and ideas, and of the spread and impact of Asia-developed theories in various parts of Asia as well as in other parts of the world;
  • Study of leadership in context: Relevant methodological frameworks;
  • Leadership and/ or management insights based on Asian philosophies (e.g. Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Jainism, others);
  • Comparative insights/ studies  (within or in relation to Asia);
  • Comparisons between how concepts in the leadership and/or management areas (e.g. ‘leader’, ‘manager’, ‘delegation’, ‘decentralization’, ‘human resources’) are defined in Asia and other parts of the world, and among different contexts in Asia;
  • Suggestions for new perspectives on leadership and/or management, which when applied, could contribute to improved leadership and/or management in Asia;
  • On differences in leadership styles throughout Asia;
  • Exploring/examining leadership and management in social movements and/or learning embedded in community social action in Asia;
  • General well-grounded thoughts on globalizations on the basis of experiences from Asia, including reflecting upon concepts like imitation, adaptation, innovation and legitimization of theories and ideas.
  1. Learning Organisation/ Organisational Learning in Context (Asia):

The submissions under this theme could focus on topics such as:

  • Applicability/application of general theories on LO/ OL in Asia;
  • The adaptation of general LO/ OL theories to particular Asian contexts;
  • Reviews of existing, but not acknowledged, LO/ OL theories that have Asian origins, including studies of the use of locally developed theories and ideas, and of the spread and impact of Asia-developed theories in various parts of Asia as well as in other parts of the world;
  • Contextual models of LO/OL in Asia;
  • Relevant methodological frameworks for studying LO/ OL in context;
  • Applications of Asian philosophies (e.g. based on Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, others) to the existing understanding of LO/ OL;
  • Comparative insights/ studies (within or in relation to Asia);
  • Comparisons between how core concepts in the LO/ OL (e.g. ‘Organisation’, ‘Learning’) are defined in Asia and other parts of the world, and among different contexts in Asia.
  1. Enterprise-led Development, Social Business and Transformation: Perspectives from Asia

Contributions under this theme will, preferably from cross-disciplinary perspectives and based on experience, primarily focus on:

  • Applicability of current theories of “development” in Asia to the emerging discussion on enterprise as a driver of change.
  • Specific local or regional experience on how development theories can be adapted to enterprise-driven models for Asia.
  • Contextually relevant examples or models of social transformation in Asia, emerging from market driven approaches.
  • Developing from within: Cases or vignettes of spontaneous emergence of enterprise-led community initiatives from Asia.
  • Development Studies in the enterprise-led development (ELD) context: Applicable methodological frameworks.
  • Review of observed, or hitherto unacknowledged ELD approaches originating in Asia, their spread and impact.
  • Philosophical underpinnings of ELD inspired social transformation in Asia e.g. Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, others.
  • Comparative insights into traditional development approaches in relation to ELD initiatives within or in relation to Asia.
  • Comparing how concepts such as Sustainable Development, Capacity-Building, Social Business, etc. within and outside Asia.
  • Implications of Social Enterprise, Social Business or ELD on sustainable development approaches and outcomes in/ for Asia.
  1. Researching Context/ Context-based  Research

                The contributions under this theme will, for instance, focus on:

  • Varying conceptions of context;
  • Relevant methodological frameworks for studying context/ context-based studies;
  • Innovative tools for context-based studies;
  • Ethics in Research: Universalistic assumptions versus context-dependence
  • Cross-cultural comparative insights  (within or in relation to Asia)
  • Comparisons between how concepts in research (e.g. ‘ethics’, ‘participatory approaches’, ‘observation’, ‘plagiarism’, ‘data’, ‘validity’, ‘reliability’, ‘researcher’s role’, others) are defined in Asia and other parts of the world, and among different contexts in Asia;
  • Publishing and plagiarism: Role/ influence of context and culture;
  • Impact factor’ versus ‘social impact’ – Relevance of research for Asian contexts.
  1. Learning and Change: Asia in Focus

The contributions under this theme will focus on learning in both, formal (e.g. schools, higher education institutions) and informal (e.g. learning at home), settings. Submissions could take up themes, such as:

  • Is there a need to challenge universalistic assumptions about learning, and develop contextually relevant models of learning in/ for Asia?
  • Applicability/application of general theories on learning, education in Asia;
  • The adaptation of general learning theories to particular Asian contexts;
  • Reviews of existing, but not acknowledged, learning and/ or education theories that have Asian origins, including studies of the use of locally developed theories and ideas, and of the spread and impact of Asia-developed theories in various parts of Asia as well as in other parts of the world;
  • Relevant methodological frameworks for studying learning and change/ transformation in context;
  • Applications of Asian philosophies (e.g. based on Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, others) to the existing understanding of learning;
  • Leadership learning/ education in Asia;
  • Comparative insights/ studies (within/ vis-à-vis Asia);
  • Comparisons between how concepts in the learning and/or education domain (e.g. ‘learning’, ‘education’, ‘schooling’, ‘curriculum’, ‘assessment’, others) are defined in Asia and other parts of the world, and among different contexts in Asia;
  • Suggestions for new perspectives on learning and/or education, which when applied, could contribute to improved learning and/ or education in Asia;
  • On differences in learning styles and teaching styles throughout Asia;
  • Asian perspectives on the role of learning technologies;
  • Exploring/examining learning, education in social movements and/or learning embedded in community social action in Asia;
  • ‘Learning to live together (LTLT)’ (cf. UNESCO 2013, ‘Toward Universal Learning’) – What does it mean in/ for Asia?

Submission: Across Disciplines and Geographies:

Academics from various fields, with an interest in leadership and/or learning, are welcome to present their papers. The conference has a multidisciplinary emphasis and, therefore, inviting contributions from across disciplines, e.g.

  • Social Sciences,
  • Development and Sustainable Development Studies,
  • Education,
  • Science and Technology,
  • Business and Economics,
  • Management,
  • Philosophy,
  • Psychology,
  • Sociology,
  • Political Science
  • Others.

Comparative studies, involving Asia, are also of great interest to the conference.

Papers are welcome on formal as well as informal leadership, and on adult learning as well as school education. Moreover, the submissions should not be limited to examining learning in formal/ institutional settings only; we look at learning contexts more broadly so as to include the informal settings, the community or extra-institutional spaces as well.

Contributors should feel free to choose to focus on any particular part, region, culture or religion in Asia or on Asia in general.

Originality of Contributions in Multiple Formats:

Any kind of academic work is welcome, such as case studies, other empirical work, literature reviews, conceptual papers, etc. However, in the contributions, we look for original work that has not been published already or submitted elsewhere for any such consideration.

Conference Programme is now available! Conference Programme