Public Lecture with Professor Mats Alvesson: The work of the leader

22 March, 2018 - 17:15 to 19:45
Seminar Room Three, Level 6, UQ Brisbane City, 293 Queen Street, Brisbane

The work of the leader: prophet, preacher, pedagogue, psychotherapist, and party host.

In this lecture Professor Alvesson discusses the meaning of ‘leadership’ as distinct from management. 

Based on his recent books: Metaphors We Lead By, published by Routledge (with Andre Spicer), and Reflexive Leadership, published by Sage (with Martin Blom and Stefan Sveningsson), Professor Alvesson points out some basic functions and elements of leadership work, including:

  • Working with visions (profiteering)
  • Values, norms and morals (preaching)
  • Learning and understanding (pedagogical work)
  • Dealing with stress and emotions (therapy work)
  • Creating a positive climate and team feeling (party hosting).

He also illustrates key leadership practices and reveals common traps and drawbacks. Finally, he considers whether leadership and organizing functions need to be a duty and prerogative of managers, or if these functions can instead be more horizontally distributed in organizations.

Professor Mats Alvesson

Mats Alvesson is a professor at Lund University, Sweden and UQ Business School. His extensive research output spans leadership, alternatives to leadership, managerial work, organizational culture, identity issues in organizations, and much more. He has published 30 books, including ‘The Stupidity Paradox. The powers and pitfalls of functional stupidity at work’ and ‘The Triumph of Emptiness’.