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Management Without Management: A suppressed dynamics of transformational leadership
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
2010 (English)In: Theology and Organization: konferensbidrag, Academy of Management CMS workshop on Theology and Organization in Montreal, August 2010 / [ed] Sverre Spoelstra & Bent Meier Sørensen, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Probing into the dynamics of contemporary knowledge formation processes, this article addresses the notion of transformational leadership. Drawing on a strand of research that has proposed leadership theorizing to miraculate its object of study, and to operate by means of seduction (see, e.g., Calás & Smircich, 1991; Spoelstra, 2010), it explores the enthralling—and indeed hegemonic—workings of the knowledge discourse surrounding this concept. Invoking Jacques Lacan’s thinking on discourse, as outlined in Seminar XVII but also as reread by Slavoj Žižek, the article articulates how such a discourse of the university has come to constitute an ideological fantasy structure that urges prospective consumers to enjoy some rare—if not altogether unattainable—feats of management. Inquiring into the discursive dynamics at work here casts light on suppressed aspects of this fantasy, and points towards a number of both unforeseen and unintended consequences possibly stemming from the propagation and widespread consumption of this spectacular knowledge formation.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
enjoyment, fantasy, ideology, Lacan, transformational leadership, university discourse, Žižek
National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-140187OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-140187DiVA: diva2:383176
Academy of Management CMS workshop on Theology and Organization in Montreal, August 2010
Available from: 2011-01-04 Created: 2011-01-04 Last updated: 2015-01-07Bibliographically approved

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