Leadership and Organization: A Philosophical Introduction

Sverre Spoelstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


This book is a philosophical exploration of the relationship between leadership and organization. Each chapter in the book sheds light on this relationship by exploring leadership with respect to a particular theme: charisma, authority, religion, language, authenticity, image and followership. These themes are linked to popular notions of leadership, such as transformational leadership, authentic leadership and servant leadership. Offering insight into the ways in which leadership is understood in contemporary culture, the main thesis of Leadership and Organization is that understandings of leadership today are still shaped by the figure of the charismatic leader, even though charismatic leadership itself has lost much of its appeal. The clearest expression of this paradigm is the leadership-management distinction, where the leader is someone who transcends the organization and the manager someone who resides within the organization. Drawing on a broad variety of sources in continental philosophy, the author explores the central philosophical question of how leadership can be understood in relation to organization. This book provides new perspectives on leadership that will be of interest to all students, academics and practitioners who are interested in challenging their thinking about leadership. It will particularly appeal to those considering leadership studies from a critical or philosophical angle.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages148
ISBN (Print)9781138917095, 9781138917101
ISBN (Electronic)9781317423621, 9781315689265
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Business & industry
  • Humanities

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