Managerial leadership as event-driven improvisation<sup>1</sup>

Ingalill Holmberg and Mats Tyrstrup

in The Work of Managers

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639724
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738661 | DOI:
Managerial leadership as event-driven improvisation1

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In their everyday work, what do middle managers recognize as leadership – if anything? This chapter reports on the ‘everyday leadership’ at a global Swedish telecom firm. The narratives of middle managers and project leaders are analysed by applying a structured interpretation process in workshops with these managers and leaders. The study concludes that everyday leadership focuses on facilitating work processes that are interrupted by unforeseen events in ambiguous circumstances. Such leadership, to a considerable extent, is event-driven and therefore unfolds as a reaction to urgent demands. Managers make adjustments by using spur-of-the-moment solutions and by taking temporary expedients.

Keywords: everyday work; leadership; telecom industry; event-driven leadership; improvisation

Chapter.  10266 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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