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The Work of ManagersTowards a Practice Theory of Management$
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Stefan Tengblad

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639724

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639724.001.0001

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Managerial leadership: identities, processes, and interactions

Managerial leadership: identities, processes, and interactions

(p.69) 4 Managerial leadership: identities, processes, and interactions
The Work of Managers

Stefan Sveningsson

Johan Alvehus

Mats Alvesson

Oxford University Press

Three perspectives of leadership are discussed: the transformative (i.e. the heroic), the post-heroic, and the mundane. The chapter concludes that if we want to understand managerial leadership as an empirical phenomenon and as a work practice, we need to base our understanding of leadership on ordinary managers’ work. In order to understand leadership as a work practice, we need more theories that are grounded in managers’ behaviours rather than in the theoretical and ideological underpinnings researchers and other societal actors assign them. A muddling-through manager who is occupied with various administrative, relational, and ill-specified work tasks can do excellent work, while the manager who takes the role of the heroic leader may cause serious problems. Management research should avoid the heroic and post-heroic misconceptions of what managers do or should do.

Keywords:   transformative leadership, post-heroic leadership, mundane leadership, work practice, empirical phenomena, managerial behaviour

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