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Chapter 8 Events, leadership and power

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635253-4875

ISBN: 9781911635253

Published: May 2021

Component type: chapter

Published in: Event Leadership

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635253-4274



A criticism of many of the conceptualisations of leadership is that they tend to focus on the positive nature of leadership and ignore the issues of power, influence and domination (Bolden, 2011). This really is a key criticism, because when you think about it, how can leadership be untangled from the power dynamics that occur within and around it? Despite the rise in viewing leadership as an influence process, as charted in Chapters 3,4 and 5 of this book, leadership in events is still often attributed to those in formal positions of power – by that I mean those in managerial positions, who have the power to make decisions about their followers working lives, and even – at the extreme end – decide to terminate people’s employment. Critics such as Bolden (2011), Alvesson and Spicer (2012) argue that when leadership is the preserve of those in managerial positions, then the dynamics of who holds the power in the relationships are always unequal, and it is impossible to overcome these inequalities, because one person is always in a stronger position than the other. This chapter therefore gives the reader a brief overview on the power of leaders in events, and an insight into both the benefits and issues of that power. A second level of concern is also leadership within the events community – who is it that brings people and organisations together? What does it take to achieve effective collaboration among events and between events and other key stakeholders? This might be a matter of individual leaders taking charge, but equally it could be that leadership emerges from specific network dynamics. In viewing leadership as both a process of influence and a process of power, we can gain useful insights into the power relationships that may be at work.

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Abson, 2021

Abson, E. (2021) "Chapter 8 Events, leadership and power" In: Abson, D.E. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635253-4875


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Published in Event Leadership

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