The power of positioning: How leadership work unfolds in team interactions

Viviana Meschitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on literature conceptualising leadership as a discursive accomplishment, this paper defines leadership as leadership work: a process unfolding through talk and depending on a unique dynamic among the resources that participants bring to an interaction and the ability of the participants to creatively mobilise these resources to perform the task at hand. Leadership work can be understood through the analysis of how individuals position themselves and others in an interaction. Data from an ethnographic study of an academic research team support our arguments. The paper contributes to the literature on leadership as a process by demonstrating that positioning is not only necessary for leadership to unfold but it also allows a more nuanced analysis of leadership work, by opening researchers’ eyes to the variety of resources involved in this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-643
Number of pages23
Issue number5
Early online date28 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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