Leadership identities: Whose construction?

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Questioning the assumption that identities can be controlled through a shared organisational culture, the article explores the dispersion of a discourse of diversity into leadership identities in a Danish bank and building society. Underlying this focus is the question of whether a number of local and global influences may interact and lead to the adoption of a shared organisational and leadership norms, identifiable in managers' constructions of leadership identities. To study these issues, a critical discourse analysis is carried out of interviews with two middle managers in the bank, which involves close analysis of the language used by the respondents to construct their leadership identities. While the respondents present comparable identities to the interviewer, the analysis reveals that the they draw on different discourses and sources of inspiration as well as employ a number of different discursive means to present their respective identities. This, the article argues, may be the result of a number of influences emerging from the individual style of the respondent, the context of the interview and the discourses present both within and outside the organisation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalText & Talk (Print Edition)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-28
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • bank
  • critical discourse analysis
  • diversity
  • identity
  • leadership
  • semi-structured interviews


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