Power and leadership

Morten Kusk Fogsgaard, Claus Westergård Elmholdt

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingEncyclopedia chapterResearchpeer-review


Power is one of the most heretical concepts in
modern organisations. Not only is power often
taboo, an explosive issue that managers and
employees avoid talking about, it is also in itself
a difficult phenomenon to approach, because the
allocation of power is not always transparent.
The aim of this contribution is to emphasize the
dynamics of power and leadership relations in
organizations. Power is traditionally defined as
forms of influence based on the execution of control
and sanctions (Hatch 2011; Fogsgaard and
Elmholdt 2014). However, in relation to leadership,
this definition is insufficient, because the
emphasis on explicit forms of power does not
fully embrace the concept of power in organizations.
This contribution advocates that a more
comprehensive conception of power contains
three aspects: structural power, personal power,
and discursive power. Power is thus considered as
an analytical concept in the sense that it is perceived
as neither negative nor positive. Rather, the
affective value of power reveals itself in the way it
is used and executed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance
EditorsA. Farazmand
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Publication date1 May 2016
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-31816-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-31816-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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