The mainstream effect - A critical study on leadership development
This paper critically examines the effect that mainstream leadership ideas have on the leadership development initiatives in a highly technical, engineering dominated, Swedish public sector organisation. Through 28 interviews divided between senior managers, managers and co-workers, the story of an organisation that wish to solve their organisational challenges deriving from a fast-paced expansion phase is told. The study reveals a number of existing problems and how these are sought to be solved through leadership development initiatives (LDI’s). By understanding how the organisation’s actors perceive leadership, the paper sheds light upon how the LDI’s are affected by any prevalent mainstream leadership ideas. Inspired by the perspective of Critical Leadership Studies (CLS), the study questions and reflects upon taken for granted assumptions in regard to the organisation’s LDI’s in order to reveal the interconnection between the perception of leadership and organisational processes and practices. As a result, the paper presents the mainstream effect; that the perception of leadership and actions of individuals have caused chain reactions elsewhere in the organisation.
MSc in Management
Regional Public Organisation
Critical Leadership Studies
Master Degree Project