Date / Heure
Date(s) - 12/11/2015
12 h 15 min - 14 h 00 min
Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms
Cass Business School
Room: Société canadienne des postes (1st floor, yellow section)
Based on a qualitative study of 102 senior professionals, this paper asks: how is leadership enacted in organizations characterized by extensive individual autonomy and contingent managerial authority? It develops a process model of the co-construction of leadership in professional service firms based on three distinct and interdependent relational processes. Legitimizing occurs initially as professional peers claim and grant leader and follower identities, by succeeding in the market and inferring leadership ability. Thereafter negotiating and maneuvering occur as professional peers claim and grant authority among each other, by asserting control and exercising autonomy, and by acting politically and perceiving integrity. We argue that professionals may grant leadership identities to their peers without necessarily claiming follower identities for themselves, thus introducing a more contingent perspective to research on leader–follower relations. We also identify the political skills needed to operate effectively in such a context and thus also contribute to the plural leadership literature by highlighting the significance of the individual and the political in the plural.