Sub-theme 48: Leadership and Managerial Work: Identity, Fairness and Work Behavior

Stefan Tengblad
University of Skövde, Sweden
Dawn L Eubanks
University of Bath, UK
Steven Grover
University of Otago, New Zealand

Call for Papers

This sub-theme analyzes the timeless issue of leadership, including all the activities involved in motivating people toward collective action. We are particularly interested in a broad view of leadership that moves away from the leader-centric conceptualisation toward views of leadership as a relational, processual and co-constructed phenomenon that analyzes leaders as well as the people surrounding them.

Identity, fairness, and managerial work offer three foci that guide but do not limit subtheme submissions.

  • Identity research explores how leaders conceive of their roles as leaders and how these roles develop, including how identity forms throughout the lifespan and phases of the career. This approach may help in better understanding how identity influences the desire to become a leader, the style leaders adopt, and the influence strategies they use. Behavioral intention may be distinguished from identity to consider tensions between identity formation and actual behavior. A relational perspective can add new understanding to this research area.
  • Fairness and justice research focuses leadership on distributive, procedural, and interactional justice. This includes how leaders use tangible and intangible rewards and how they treat people in order to encourage (or discourage) collective action and how followers construct notions of what is fair or not. In particular, the contemporary issues of dignity and respect may loom large in this approach to understanding leadership.
  • Leadership in terms of managerial work – the actual work done by managers in organizations in their pursuit of leadership – is the third focused topic. For example, research that examines normal, everyday leadership behavior as a counterpoint to heroic leadership is important to understanding how leadership is practiced and constructed in the leader-follower interaction. According to this perspective leadership can be seen as a work practice and can be analyzed with practice theories.

Leadership is defined in this subtheme in order to encourage an intellectually rich experience for all participants. Accordingly, the following represents the breadth of consideration of "leadership":

  • different levels of leadership, from small group to executive leadership of large organizations,
  • formal and informal leadership roles, because leadership can be ascribed in different ways,
  • the inspirational as well as the everyday types of leadership,
  • leadership as a managerial responsibility that is integrated with other aspects of managerial work such as administration, economic control, operational issues, etc.
  • leadership inside and outside of organizations, including in the larger society,
  • moral and ethical considerations and dilemmas faced by leaders, and
  • the role and importance of leadership in innovation and creative processes.

A variety of methodological and ontological approaches will be considered. An important criterion for selection of papers will be the potential for developing new conceptions and understandings of leadership through re-conceptualizing past research and incorporating threads from other scientific fields.


Stefan Tengblad 
Dawn L Eubanks 
Steven Grover