Leadership and organization theory

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Citation only.

Parry, K. W. (2010). Leadership and organization theory. In A. Bryman, D. Collinson, K. Grint, B. Jackson and M. Uhl-Bien (Eds.), Sage handbook of leadership (pp. 53-70). London: Sage Publications.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 150310

© Copyright Ken W. Parry, 2011




Organization theory and organizational behaviour are the chief areas within which leadership theory and research have developed. However, these fields are more uncoupled than they perhaps should be. A number of conceptual similarities exist between organization theory and leadership studies, but more paradoxes emerge than there are inherent similarities to be identified. A paradox within these parallel studies is that organizational power is usually generated within a structure, whereas leadership power is often generated from relations and processes that go on between people. Organization theory is more usually studied as a formal creation, while leadership increasingly is studied as the result of relationships between people and social processes at play in organizations.

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