Telos, Chronos, and Hermēneia: The Role of Metanarrative in Leadership Effectiveness through the Production of Meaning

  • Justin A. Irving Bethel University
  • Karin Klenke Regent University


In this article, we argue for the existence of a relationship between metanarrative and leadership effectiveness that is mediated by personal meaning. After analyzing the relevant literatures, we present a model that attributes this relationship to the capacity of metanarrative to produce meaning through the interpretive frames of Telos (teleological context), Chronos (historical-narrative context), and Hermēneia (interpretive context). We begin with a review of the leadership effectiveness literature followed by a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the concepts of meaning and metanarrative. From this review, we derive a set of propositions that describe the nature of the interrelationships among the constructs of interest and present a theoretical model that captures the proposed relationships. We conclude by suggesting several streams of research designed to evaluate the proposed model and with recommendations for further study.