An ethnographic account of leadership, power and change
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The paper provides a genealogical account of a police organization’s attempt to implement what senior officers in its behavioural change division described as a dispersed leadership (Bryman, 1996; Gordon, 2002) strategy. I describe the organization and provide a detailed account of the dynamics that emerge as groups and individuals who historically held positions of power found themselves reporting to one of many designated leaders. The account depicts how the organization’s dispersion of leadership, while on the surface represents a new and successful endeavour, is rendered problematic by the organization’s historical constitution of power.
This document has been peer reviewed.