Tampere University of Technology

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Narrative Construction of Leadership. Four Realms of Leadership in the Essays of Adult Students

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisMonograph

Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages147
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3147-7
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3129-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2013
Publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Volume1154
ISSN (Print)1459-2045

Abstract

This study belongs to the field of leadership research and is focused on relational leadership. Relational leadership research is in its early stages and needs more attention. This study departs mainly from leadership research orientating in leader-centricity and its effectiveness. Relational leadership highlights the notion of leadership as a process, its ongoing nature and the importance of local-historical context. It also introduces the concept of “space between,” the moment where the leadership process is constructed in interaction. This research emphasises the social construction and relational nature of leadership. The study is qualitative and inductive by nature, using narrative methodology in order to make sense, communicate, and construct the leadership phenomenon. The focus of this research is in reconstructing leadership using written essays of adult higher education students. This study contributes in the field of relational leadership processes illustrating four reconstructions of leadership in the form of narratives. The four realities, coined here as realms of leadership, are: Excellence, Balance, Quasi, and Anarchy. They are reconstructions of leadership moments of different kind. This study also contrasts the realms by four core constructs: Professionalism, Behaviour, Development, and Expression. These invisible core constructs fulfil the relational interaction of leadership phenomena. Further, this study argues that the discourse of readjusting in the space between realms is an invisible thread linking the processes together. Leadership constructs in this study of four realms between which readjusting works as an invisible bridge. The contribution of this study belongs to the field of relational leadership exploring and constructing the space between in leadership. By legitimating leadership as a relational process instead of describing it as an individual-based issue, this research and its idea of multiple realities invites the audience to dialogue and discussion.

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