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Upbeat leadership : A recipe for – or against – “successful” leadership theory

Alvesson, Mats LU (2020) In Leadership Quarterly
Abstract

In the last 40 years, leadership studies (LS) have moved from a condition of near despair, where complaints of slow progress were commonplace, to a situation of self-confidence and self-praise. However, during recent years we have seen an upsurge in criticism alongside a contradiction between positive leadership ideas and a working life bearing little imprint of the upbeat messages said to characterize successful leaders. LS primarily produces results where “positive” leadership is correlated with various “positive” outcomes. This is made possible through unusual conventions characterizing LS, which produce a recipe for flawed, but publishable, research and career progress. This paper points at 20 elements of this recipe and argues for... (More)

In the last 40 years, leadership studies (LS) have moved from a condition of near despair, where complaints of slow progress were commonplace, to a situation of self-confidence and self-praise. However, during recent years we have seen an upsurge in criticism alongside a contradiction between positive leadership ideas and a working life bearing little imprint of the upbeat messages said to characterize successful leaders. LS primarily produces results where “positive” leadership is correlated with various “positive” outcomes. This is made possible through unusual conventions characterizing LS, which produce a recipe for flawed, but publishable, research and career progress. This paper points at 20 elements of this recipe and argues for a radical rethinking of LS norms and practices to develop more complex and sophisticated knowledge that is intellectually and methodologically sounder, facilitating less ideological and more relevant and insightful studies and research results.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Ideology, Leadership, Methodology, Recipes
in
Leadership Quarterly
article number
101439
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85088807884
ISSN
1048-9843
DOI
10.1016/j.leaqua.2020.101439
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
eb10118c-c2a6-4439-9156-62442c0fcdf9
date added to LUP
2020-08-10 12:47:06
date last changed
2020-10-07 07:02:46
@article{eb10118c-c2a6-4439-9156-62442c0fcdf9,
  abstract     = {<p>In the last 40 years, leadership studies (LS) have moved from a condition of near despair, where complaints of slow progress were commonplace, to a situation of self-confidence and self-praise. However, during recent years we have seen an upsurge in criticism alongside a contradiction between positive leadership ideas and a working life bearing little imprint of the upbeat messages said to characterize successful leaders. LS primarily produces results where “positive” leadership is correlated with various “positive” outcomes. This is made possible through unusual conventions characterizing LS, which produce a recipe for flawed, but publishable, research and career progress. This paper points at 20 elements of this recipe and argues for a radical rethinking of LS norms and practices to develop more complex and sophisticated knowledge that is intellectually and methodologically sounder, facilitating less ideological and more relevant and insightful studies and research results.</p>},
  author       = {Alvesson, Mats},
  issn         = {1048-9843},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Leadership Quarterly},
  title        = {Upbeat leadership : A recipe for – or against – “successful” leadership theory},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2020.101439},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.leaqua.2020.101439},
  year         = {2020},
}