Exploring Interpersonal Processes in Vivo: Studying Moments of Leadership

Jakob Rømer Barfod, Magnus Larsson, Jonathan Clifton, Stephanie Schnurr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we present an approach for rigorous analysis of interpersonal influence utilizing observation and video recordings, which is informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA). We take interpersonal influence, as the core of leadership, to be illustrative of the methodological challenges in pursuing an interest in directly studying the lived dynamics of organizational life. While most leadership researchers seem to agree that interpersonal influence is central to leadership, they also tend to agree that it has proved to be hard to study directly. Our approach is to analyze the data in all its richness, with attention to the details and situated variation. Our research interest focuses on how interpersonal processes can be flexibly accomplished in a range of settings and situations, involving a range of linguistic expressions and physical artefacts. In line with the everyday romanticism of leaders, the bulk of research to date has focused on the interacting individuals, and most of all, on the leader. As a consequence, such a methodological leader centric approach, which necessarily abstracts from the situated influence relationships, means that the details of the interpersonal process are lost from view. Our procedure consists of four different steps, each taking a specific analytical stance and contributing to the study in a distinct way. Along the way, we suggest fundamentally shifting the analytical stance in a way that, whilst combining different research traditions, nevertheless also contrasts slightly with established canons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings


  • AOM annual meeting proceedings 2022
  • AOM seattle 2022

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