HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society


We propose a new theory of public narrative, its practice, and its pedagogy that can prepare leaders to mobilize collective action towards tackling grand challenges and responds to the call for humanizing leadership development. We define public narrative as a process of accessing, articulating, and communicating shared values. We argue that, through crafting their public narratives, leaders can enact their moral resources to motivate others to choose collective action. By conceptualizing values as affective commitments, we propose that public narrative is constructed through the articulation of specific narrative moments (stories of hurt (why I care) and hope (why I can act)) that communicate one’s moral resources. We then argue that our pedagogy can be used in leadership development by enabling leaders to articulate a story of self, a story of us, and a story of now: the experiential communication of one’s values that have called one to leadership, of overlapping values shared by one’s constituency, and of challenges to those values that require urgent collective action. Last, we describe our core pedagogical principles and discuss the implications of our pedagogy.


Ganz, Marshall, Julia Lee Cunningham, Inbal Ben Ezer and Alaina Segura. "Crafting Public Narrative to Enable Collective Action: A Pedagogy for Leadership Development." Academy of Management Learning & Education 22.2 (June 2023): 169-190.