Critical leadership studies: The case for critical performativity

Alvesson, M. & Spicer, A. (2012). Critical leadership studies: The case for critical performativity. Human Relations, 65(3), pp. 367-390. doi: 10.1177/0018726711430555

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Abstract

Existing accounts of leadership are underpinned by two dominant approaches: functionalist studies, which have tried to identify correlations between variables associated with leadership; and interpretive studies, which have tried to trace out the meaning-making process associated with leadership. Eschewing these approaches, we turn to an emerging strand of literature that develops a critical approach to leadership. This literature draws our attention to the dialectics of control and resistance and the ideological aspect of leadership. However, it largely posits a negative critique of leadership. We think this is legitimate and important, but extend this agenda. We posit a performative critique of leadership that emphasizes tactics of circumspect care, progressive pragmatism and searching for present potentialities. We use these tactics to sketch out a practice of deliberated leadership that involves collective reflection on when, what kind and if leadership is appropriate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords: Leadership, Critical Management Studies, Deliberation, Performativity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15571

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