Managers doing leadership: The extra-ordinarization of the mundane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Based on a case study of managers in a large, international knowledge-intensive company this article suggests a rethinking of leadership, taking the mundane, almost trivial, aspects of what managers/leaders actually do seriously. In the study, the managers interviewed emphasized the importance of listening and informal chatting. Managers listening to subordinates are assumed to have various positive effects, e.g. people feel more respected, visible and less anonymous, and included in teamwork. Rather than certain acts being significant in themselves, it is their being done by managers that gives them a special, emotional value beyond their everyday significance. Leadership is conceptualized as the extra-ordinarization of the mundane.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics and Business
  • Business Administration


  • extra-ordinarization, leadership management, mundane, knowledge-intensive firm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1459
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch