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Industrial Economics and Management




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Doing leadership (»Add to Infobox)

Research Leader: Monica Lindgren
Johann Packendorff

Industrial Economics and Management (Div)

The aim of the project is to develop a theoretical perspective by which leadership activities are analysed in terms of social interaction. This includes a gender perspective since traditional leadership perspectives usually entail a reproduction of taken-for-granted masculine norms in working life. The project thus aims at the need for development of new strategies for leadership, distinguished by cooperation around leadership tasks. The goal is for the project to contribute to shifting the perspective on/ ideas about leadership from being an individual activity to becoming a collaborative, relational activity.
The overreaching theoretical and practical point of departure for the research project is, given the above-mentioned setting, to establish a perception of the study of leadership implying leadership as being built through social interaction. This leads to the following points of departure:
- leadership is studied as activities between people, i.e. interactions between formal leaders and other actors involved
- people are seen as actors who interpret these activities based on various types of preconceived ideas
- there are ideas about what leadership is and ought to be, ideas that constitute a backdrop to every interaction in the form of leadership ideals and also notions on gender.
- We move the focus from leaders as persons to leadership as activities in organisations.

The conceived results of the programme are thus the development of a theoretical foundation as well as empirical patterns and categories related to the part of leadership theory deriving from constructionistic and relational perspectives. The project as a whole also includes a gender perspective on leadership where collective leadership activities are analysed in terms of processes of masculinisation and femininisation.

The practical value of the project, besides routine feedback to the participating organisations, will be achieved through dissemination at conferences on working life and by writing a summarising book on the development of collaborative ways of leadership.

Period: 2009-01-01 - 2011-12-31

Distributed leadership, Gender studies, Shared leadership, Social constructionism

Project URL:


VINNOVA (The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems)


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