Leadership in Spaces and Places

Leadership in Spaces and Places

Edited by Arja Ropo, Perttu Salovaara, Erika Sauer and Donatella De Paoli

By combining new research on leadership and workspaces, Leadership in Spaces and Places argues for a radical reconceptualization of leadership. They argue leadership is not only about leaders themselves, but is also affected by the built environment. With contributions from both scholars and practitioners alike, the authors discuss leadership in six different contexts: • workspaces in change • open-office spaces • virtual workspaces • service spaces • cultural spaces • institutional spaces.

Chapter 1: What can the coworking movement tell us about the future of workplaces?

Perttu Salovaara

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


This chapter studies today’s work-life by exploring the relatively new phenomenon of coworking, where independent workers join a shared workspace. In order to understand coworking as both physical spaces and movement, the chapter links three research streams: office space research, leadership research and sociological research on ‘flexible capitalism’ and new ways of working. Independent members of a coworking spaces do not work for the one and same company, and because of changes in work-life from fixed employment and linear careers to temporary work contracts and projectification, traditional work communities are partly dispersing. Yet, it is argued, modern capitalism at the same time arouses a need for community. The chapter will discuss coworking from the perspective of local community and plural leadership.