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Is there leadership in a fluid world? : Exploring the ongoing production of direction in organizing

  • Crevani, Lucia
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
DOI: 10.1177/1742715015616667
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Although the idea of leadership being a process is clearly stated in leadership definitions, most researchers focus on individuals rather than observing and studying processes. This contradiction has been highlighted by a number of scholars turning to leadership processes and practices, thereby drawing attention to the interactional and social aspects of the phenomenon. Such contributions mostly take process perspectives in which entities still play an important role. In this article, I therefore aim at contributing to leadership studies based on a process ontology by exploring one central aspect of leadership work, the production of direction, processually. I do so by building on geographer Massey’s conception of space, thus adding a spatial dimension that enables me to conceptualize direction as the development of an evolving relational configuration. In order to empirically explore such a conceptualization, two constructs are proposed: the construction of positions and the construction of issues. The reading of leadership work thus produced leads me to suggest ‘clearing for action’ as a means of conveying the spatio-temporal and constructive (reality constructing) character of leadership work.

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