Shared Leadership as a Future Leadership Style? – will the idea of the traditional top-down manager be an obstacle?

Leadership has always attracted human beings. In this thesis we identify the traditional top-down single leadership as a powerful norm, influencing every leader. With this assumption in mind we have chosen to conduct a literature review where we examine the concept of shared leadership on two levels in order to evaluate the possibilities for the concept to become a new leadership norm. First, we make an overview of 18 articles and four books in the field. We explore the historical origins of the concept, different definitions, requirements and difficulties of shared leadership. We find that increased complexity and the emergence of knowledge organizations are factors that contribute to the development of shared leadership, while the large amount of prerequisites that have to be fulfilled is an obstacle. We have categorized the prerequisites into three groups; personrelated, structural and selection-related, where the personal aspects seem to be the most important to manage a successful shared leadership. Second, we analyze the findings about shared leadership in terms of institutional theory. We state that leadership is an area dependent of norms and the institutional environment. Furthermore we emphasize the difference between what people say and what they do and explore the notion of the traditional top-down single leaders as ‘the real leader’. We find that there is a prevailing idea that leaders of tomorrow will not agree with all the demands that yesterday’s lonely leaders experienced. We state that the the existing norm of the single leadership is strong and investigate how that norm can be changed and expanded in favor of the development and existence of shared leadership. We present four different cases of how shared leadership can be espoused and used in organizations and point out the fact that it does not have to be legitimate to be used. In the future, we predict that shared leadership will exist side by side with the traditional leadership style.


1 Introduction
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background
1.3 Problem analysis
1.4 Purpose
1.5 Disposition
2 Method
2.1 Choice of method
2.2 Search method
2.3 Reading and analyzing the literature
2.4 Usefulness of the study
3 The concept of Shared Leadership
3.1 Development of the concept
3.2 Prevalence
3.3 Definitions
3.4 Special cases of shared leadership
3.4.1 Shared position and shared power
3.4.2 Cooperation between different positions
3.5 Prerequisites for shared leadership
3.5.1 Requirements for shared leadership
3.5.2 Organization types in general and knowledge work in particular
3.5.3 Paradoxes of the concept of shared leadership
3.5.4 Critique towards the concept of shared leadership
3.6 Summary of findings
4 Analyzing the findings
4.1 Leadership and isomorphism
4.2 What they say is not always what they do
4.3 The ‘real’ leader
4.4 Leaders’ needs
4.5 The creation and transfer of institutions
4.6 Shared leadership in the future
5 Conclusion

Author: Andreas, Elisabeth,Lindström, Sara

Source: Goteborg University

Download URL 2: Visit Now

Leave a Comment