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Johan Alvehus

Senior lecturer


Managerial leadership: Identities, processes, and interactions


  • Stefan Sveningsson
  • Johan Alvehus
  • Mats Alvesson


  • Tengblad Stefan

Summary, in English

Three perspectives of leadership are discussed in this chapter: the transformative (i.e., the heroic), the post-heroic and the mundane. The theme of the chapter is that if we want to understand managerial leadership as an empirical phenomenon and as a work practice, we need to base our understanding of leadership on ordinary managers’ work (i.e., the work of people who are assigned with leadership responsibilities). In order to understand leadership as a work practice, we need more theories that are grounded in managers’ behaviours rather than in the theoretical and ideological underpinnings researchers and other societal actors assign them. According to this perspective, a muddling-through manager occupied with various administrative, relational and ill-specified work tasks can do an excellent work, while it is plausible that a manager trying to act as heroic leader may cause serious problems. Management research should avoid contributing to the heroic and post-heroic misconceptions about what managers do or should be doing.


  • Department of Business Administration

Publishing year





The work of managers. Towards a practice theory of management

Document type

Book chapter


Oxford University Press


  • Business Administration




  • ISBN: 978-0-19-963972-4