Leadership: Convergence and Divergence in Leadership Relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article argues for theorizing and studying the significance of how so-called leaders and followers converge or diverge in their views and understandings of the leadership/followership relations they may be part of. Divergence or misfits may be common yet missed by the researcher who takes only one party’s view of leadership into account and/or assumes that people involved define the relationship in a similar way. The article identifies and illustrates four typical forms of shared/diverse meanings regarding leadership: high-alignment leadership (shared meanings), value misfit (diverse assessment), construction misfit (different views of what goes on), and multiple breakdowns (high level of confusion of what goes on and how to assess it). Given variations in views of leadership, this article makes a case for considering “divergent relationalities”—in some opposition to common ideas about “smooth” leadership/followership relations based on convergent meanings.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • leadership, power and politics, qualitative research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch