Leaders, Managers, Entrepreneurs on and off the Organizational Stage

  • Czarniawska-Joerges B
  • Wolff R
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This paper explores three crucial roles of the organizational theatre: managers, leaders and entrepreneurs. Changing fashion in the organizational theory debate as well as in organizational practice puts different roles in focus at different times. Organization theory should, accordingly, shift its attention toward studying the contexts in which a given role acquires dominance, in place of an unreflective discussion of the relative functional advantages of each of them. This paper argues that none of the three will ever go out of fashion, as they can be seen as enactments of archetypes, embodying the different fears and hopes of those who create organizations by their daily performance. Leadership is seen as symbolic performance, expressing the hope of control over destiny; management as the activity of introducing order by coordinating flows of things and people towards collective action, and entrepreneurship as the making of entire new worlds. The sociohistorical context needs to be considered as the stage-set wherein these roles gain prominence.

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  • Barbara Czarniawska-Joerges

  • Rolf Wolff

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