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The impact of context on followers' constructions of leadership

Allirol, Jonathan LU and Leienbach, Katja LU (2015) MGTN59 20151
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
This thesis contends that focus within the leadership research has often been either on leaders or followers instead of acknowledging both parties. Similarly, fragmentation and ambiguity among followers’ constructions has often been ignored, underestimating the complexity of leadership as a social construction process. Additionally, even within more relational and social constructionist views, the level of social and cultural context has reached little attention in discussing followers’ sensemaking of leadership. The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the relationship of two organisational contexts and their respective followers’ interpretations and ideas of leadership. Further this research elaborates on the relation between... (More)
This thesis contends that focus within the leadership research has often been either on leaders or followers instead of acknowledging both parties. Similarly, fragmentation and ambiguity among followers’ constructions has often been ignored, underestimating the complexity of leadership as a social construction process. Additionally, even within more relational and social constructionist views, the level of social and cultural context has reached little attention in discussing followers’ sensemaking of leadership. The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the relationship of two organisational contexts and their respective followers’ interpretations and ideas of leadership. Further this research elaborates on the relation between followers’ sensemaking of leadership and the organisational context by using an interpretative perspective. The qualitative empirical research unveils the ideas of followers in two different contexts, while different contextual aspects are uncovered. These are organisational and occupational culture, climate, organisational design and structure and leadership style. The main finding is that followers make sense of their leaders’ actions differently depending on the contextual aspects. Most significantly, contexts differ in their level of autonomy, which suggests implications for the degree of leadership. As a result, future leadership research should, besides its interest in extreme contexts, further examine the role of mundane contexts. Ultimately, leaders should acknowledge the context-related followers’ interpretations when engaging in management of meaning and seeking to create coherence and alignment of followers’sensemaking. (Less)
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author
Allirol, Jonathan LU and Leienbach, Katja LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
An interpretative close-up study of two organisational contexts
course
MGTN59 20151
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
leadership, followership, context, culture, climate, structure, leadership style
language
English
id
7440573
date added to LUP
2015-06-30 13:57:36
date last changed
2015-06-30 13:57:36
@misc{7440573,
  abstract     = {This thesis contends that focus within the leadership research has often been either on leaders or followers instead of acknowledging both parties. Similarly, fragmentation and ambiguity among followers’ constructions has often been ignored, underestimating the complexity of leadership as a social construction process. Additionally, even within more relational and social constructionist views, the level of social and cultural context has reached little attention in discussing followers’ sensemaking of leadership. The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the relationship of two organisational contexts and their respective followers’ interpretations and ideas of leadership. Further this research elaborates on the relation between followers’ sensemaking of leadership and the organisational context by using an interpretative perspective. The qualitative empirical research unveils the ideas of followers in two different contexts, while different contextual aspects are uncovered. These are organisational and occupational culture, climate, organisational design and structure and leadership style. The main finding is that followers make sense of their leaders’ actions differently depending on the contextual aspects. Most significantly, contexts differ in their level of autonomy, which suggests implications for the degree of leadership. As a result, future leadership research should, besides its interest in extreme contexts, further examine the role of mundane contexts. Ultimately, leaders should acknowledge the context-related followers’ interpretations when engaging in management of meaning and seeking to create coherence and alignment of followers’sensemaking.},
  author       = {Allirol, Jonathan and Leienbach, Katja},
  keyword      = {leadership,followership,context,culture,climate,structure,leadership style},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The impact of context on followers' constructions of leadership},
  year         = {2015},
}