Dr Rita Gardiner

Assistant Professor


Dr. Gardiner completed her PhD in the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research at the University of Western Ontario. Since completion of her dissertation, she has been actively involved in our EdD program, as well as holding appointments in the Interdisciplinary programs at King's University College, Department of Women's Studies, and Department of Sociology at Western University. Rita's research and publications largely focus on issues related to authentic leadership, organizational structures, and gender.

Expertise Areas

Recent Publications

Books Chapters (single-authored)

Gardiner, R. (2016.) Wynne some, lose some: An intersectional approach to media prejudice against Canadian women politicians. In Eliott, C., Stead, V., Mavin, S., & Williams, J. (Eds.) Gender, media, and organization: Challenging mis(s)representations of women leaders and managers (pp. 153-166). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Gardiner, R. (2014). Women leaders, authenticity, and higher education: Convictions and contradictions. In Madsen, S & Longman, K. (Eds.), Women and leadership in higher education (pp. 153-169). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Gardiner, R. (2013). Hannah Arendt, authenticity and uniqueness. In Ladkin, D.  & Spiller, C. (Eds.), Authentic leadership: Concepts, coalescences and clashes (pp. 65-9). Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Book Chapters (multiple authors)

Wambura Ngunjiri, F. & Gardiner, R. (May, 2017) Future Strategies for Developing Women as Leaders. In Madsen, S. (Ed.), Handbook of Women and Leadership, Edward Elgar.

Wambura Ngunjiri, F., Jennifer M. Almquist, J. A., Beebe, M., Elbert, C.D., Gardiner, R. A. & Shockness. M. (2017). Intersectional Leadership Praxis: Unpacking the Experiences of Women Leaders at the Nexus of Roles and Identities. In J. Stornberg-Walker & P. Walker-Curran, (Eds.), Theorizing Women & Leadership: New Insights & Contributions from Multiple Perspectives. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Refereed Articles and Essays

Gardiner, R. & Fulfer, K. (2017). Family Matters: An Arendtian critique of organizational structures. Gender, work and organization.  Online First. DOI: 10.1111/gwao. 12177

Gardiner, R. (Oct. 2016).  Lasting impressions: Hannah Arendt's educational legacy.  Journal of Educational Administration & History, 48(4), 309-323.  DOI:/10.1080/00220620.2016.1210585

Gardiner, R. (2016).  Commentary - Gender, authenticity and leadership: Thinking with Arendt. Invited submission. Leadership, 1-6. DOI: 10.1177/1742715015583623

Gardiner, R. (2015). Telling tales out of school. A relational approach to authentic leadership. Invited submission. Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, 8(4), 1-8.

Gardiner, R. (2013). Pursuing freedom: Simone de Beauvoir and Hannah Arendt. Sapere Aude, 3(6), 116-125.

Gardiner, R. (2013). To do or not to do? An encounter with Sonia Kruks's Simone de Beauvoir and the politics of ambiguity.PhaenEx, 8(2), 331-345.

Gardiner, R. (2012).  Leadership, authenticity and the Arendtian world. The Woard Hoard, 1(1), 64-71.

Gardiner, R. (2012). Rethinking classroom participation. Teaching Innovation Projects. 2(1), 3.

Gardiner, R. (2011). A critique of the discourse of authentic leadership.  International Journal of Business and Social Science, II(15), 99-105.

Book Reviews

(March, 2014). Gosling, J. & Villiers, P., (Eds.) Fictional leaders: Heroes, villains and absent friends. Journal of Leadership and the Humanities, 2, 83-85.

Refereed Conference Presentations

Gardiner, R. (May, 2017). 12th On fads, foods, and freedom, “Food Organizing Matters: Paradoxes, Problems and Potentialities.” Organization Studies Workshop, (organized under the auspices of Sage Publications).

Gardiner, R. & Fulfer, K. (March, 2017). Family Matters: An Arendtian critique of family as an organizational structure, Organizing Equality, London, Ontario.

Gardiner, R. (Nov 2016). Authentic leadership. International Leadership Association, Atlanta, Georgia.

Gardiner, R. (Oct 2016.) Leadership in uncertain times: Complex dilemmas and ethical possibilities. Values and Leadership Conference, London, Ontario.

Gardiner, R. (May, 20, 2016). Through a Narrative Lens: Reflections on Arendtian narrative and authentic leadership. 11th Organization Studies Workshop - Spirituality, Symbolism and Storytelling, Mykonos, Greece.

Fulfer, K. & R. Gardiner (Feb 27, 2016).  Rights, Responsibilities and Rootlessness: The Doom of Refugee Status. Third Annual Wilson College Humanities Conference, Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA.

Gardiner, R. (Oct. 2015). Women's political representation in the media: A tale of two Canadian leaders. International Leadership Association conference, Barcelona, Spain.

Gardiner, R. Beebe, M. & C. D. Elbert (Oct. 2015). Navigating leadership at the intersections of borders and generations: A collaborative autoethnography, International Leadership Association conference, Barcelona, Spain.

Gardiner, R. (June, 2015). Hannah Arendt, narrative and authentic leadership. Presentation at the Women and leadership conference, International Leadership Association, Asilomar, California.

Almquist, J. M.  Beebe, M., Elbert, C. D.  & R. Gardiner. (June, 2015). Presentation on intersectionality and leadership: A collaborative ethnography.  Women and leadership conference, International Leadership Association, Asilomar, CA.

Gardiner, R. (Nov. 2014). Authentic leadership, gender and care. Presentation at the International Leadership Association conference, San Diego, CA.

Gardiner, R. (Sept. 2014). Hannah Arendt and authentic leadership. Presentation at the Annual Values and Leadership Conference Consortium for Ethical Leadership in Education, Muskoka, ON.

Gardiner, R. & S. Vendette. (Aug. 2014). Philosophical approaches to authentic leadership. Presentation at symposium on authentic leadership, Academy of Management, Philadelphia, PA.

Gardiner, R. (Nov. 2013). Resilience reloaded: New ways of thinking about leadership and the strength of the human spirit. Panel organizer and presenter at the International Leadership Association Annual Conference, Montreal, QB.

Gardiner, R. (June, 2013). Telling tales out of school: Gender, leadership and authenticity. Presentation at the International Leadership Association Conference on Women and Leadership, Asilomar, CA.

Gardiner, R. ( May, 2013). Hannah Arendt’s concept of uniqueness and the discourse of authentic leadership.  Presentation at the International Feminist Phenomenology Conference, Western University, London, ON.

Fulfer, K. & Gardiner, R. (April, 2013). A phenomenology of political indifference and family values. Presentation at the Graduate Phenomenology Conference, Department of Philosophy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.

Gardiner, R. (Oct. 2012). Gender and the great divide: The leader, the role and the wardrobe. International Leadership Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO.

Gardiner, R. (Feb. 2012). An Arendtian investigation into the discourse of authentic leadership. Presentation at the Indiana University’s Tobias Leadership Conference, Colorado Springs, CO.

Gardiner, R. (Sept. 2011). Hannah Arendt and authentic leadership. Presentation at The Sixteenth Annual Values and Leadership Conference, Victoria, BC.

Gardiner, R. (June, 2011). The curious case of mistaken identity: An Arendtian investigation into authentic leadership. Presentation at the  Society for Existential, Phenomenology and Theory in Canada, Congress 2011, The University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.

Gardiner, R. (May, 2008).  Leadership and alumnae relations. Presentation at the Women’s Education Worldwide Conference, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Invitation - Talks and Think Thanks

July 2016. Think tank on women and leadership.  One of 25 international scholars invited to discuss theory-building in women and leadership, hosted by George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Gardiner, R. (2016, April).  Authentic engagement in the workplace. City of Mississauga Leadership Seminar, Mississauga, ON. 

Gardiner, R. (2016, Feb). Leadership dreams and ethical realities.  Presentation in colloquium series, Hood College, MD

Gardiner, R. (2012, May).  Hannah Arendt and authentic leadership. Presentation at the Centre for Leadership Studies, The University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon.

Gardiner, R. (2011, Oct). Authentic leadership:  Does gender matter? Presentation at the Institute for Women and Leadership, Brescia University College, London, ON.