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The Employable Manager: Producing disirable managerial subjects in contemporary organisational practices
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)In: The 7th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning.: Shanghai, China, December 4-7. Digital CD proceeding., 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses organisational leaders‟ employability as a rather unexplored focus for leadership research. Over the years leadership studies have focused on different aspects of what constitutes effective leaders and effective leadership, most prominently to find best practice. Some researchers focus on the leaders themselves in terms of their traits, skills or behaviors, whereas other focus on leadership in terms of the relationship between leaders and followers, task and performance, power relations, transformational leadership, conditions within the specific organisational context etc. This paper, resting on a research project in progress, deals with the overarching question: “how is the employable manager discursively produced in contemporary organisational practices?” The main focus is thus on the leader, but not in terms of what or how the desired leader is in any absolute sense, but rather how the desired leader is described and referred to, and thus discursively produced in and through contemporary organisational practices. This study focuses on how the desired, and thereby employable, managerial subject is construed in contemporary organisational discourses in Sweden. Questions about the discursive construction of the desirable manager and technologies for self governing of this managerial subject are scrutinized critically by analyzing job advertisements and in-depth interviews with people involved in the recruitment and development of managers and with newly recruited and senior managers. The theoretical design draws on of the Foucauldian concept of governmentality in terms of critically analyzing how the governing technologies involved in the selection and development of the desirable managerial subject are activated and taken up in the contemporary discourse. The findings give at hand that there is not one single subject to be referred to as the employable manager due to different organisational discourses and discursive practices. Instead four desired leader subjects emerge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
leadership, managers, employability, governmentality
National Category
Social Anthropology Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128803OAI: diva2:932057
The 7th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning. Shanghai, China, December 4-7. Digital CD proceeding.
Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2016-06-15

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