This book is a philosophical exploration of the relationship between leadership and organization. Each chapter in the book sheds light on this relationship by exploring leadership with respect to a particular theme: charisma, authority, religion, language, authenticity, image and followership. These themes are linked to popular notions of leadership, such as transformational leadership, authentic leadership and servant leadership.
Offering insight into the ways in which leadership is understood in contemporary culture, the main thesis of Leadership and Organization is that understandings of leadership today are still shaped by the figure of the charismatic leader, even though charismatic leadership itself has lost much of its appeal. The clearest expression of this paradigm is the leadership-management distinction, where the leader is someone who transcends the organization and the manager someone who resides within the organization. Drawing on a broad variety of sources in continental philosophy, the author explores the central philosophical question of how leadership can be understood in relation to organization
This book provides new perspectives on leadership that will be of interest to all students, academics and practitioners who are interested in challenging their thinking about leadership. It will particularly appeal to those considering leadership studies from a critical or philosophical angle.
'We know that leaders are dangerous, yet we seem to crave them all the same. In this delightful work, Sverre Spoelstra skilfully uses the tools of the philosopher to allow us to see the leader more clearly. And, in so doing, to see ourselves too. A beautifully written book I would recommend if you want to do some thinking.'
Martin Parker, Department of Management, University of Bristol, UK
'After you read this book, you will never look at those who call themselves leaders the same way again. Leadership studies had been stood on its head. This book puts it back on its feet and gets to the very kernel of what it means to lead, or be led.'
Stefano Harney, Professor of Strategic Management Education, Singapore Management University
Acknowledgement, Introduction, 1: The paradigm of the charismatic leader, 2: Leadership and authority, 3: Leadership after the death of God, 4: How to lead with words, 5: Authentic leadership and its mirror, 6: Images of leadership, 7: Followership, Conclusion, Bibliography, Index