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Leadership and organizing: sensemaking in action

Pye, Annie 2005. Leadership and organizing: sensemaking in action. Leadership 1 (1) , pp. 31-49. 10.1177/1742715005049349

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This article aims to challenge some of the assumptions which we make in our understanding of leadership, through empirical illustration from a large organization where a chief executive endeavours to ‘lead’ global change. The continuing search for the Holy Grail, which seems to characterize interest in leadership, implies that research efforts are perhaps being directed at ‘solving the wrong problem’. Leadership as a form of social influence is hard to distinguish from many other influences in relationships between people yet, it is argued, its emphasis on moving towards future action encourages a conception not dissimilar to organizing. The case analysis developed in this article goes on to reframe leadership as an example of sensemaking. It concludes that while sensemaking will never replace leadership as a focus or topic of interest, to understand leadership as a sensemaking process helps illustrate more clearly what happens in the daily doing of leading.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: leadership; organizational change; organizing; sensemaking; social construction
Publisher: Sage Journals
ISSN: 17427150
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:07

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