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 7: The symbolic dimension of space and artefacts in a bookstore: leadership without a leader?

Kaisa Greenlees

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


With examples taken from a study of a Finnish bookstore, the symbolic meanings attached to some spaces and artefacts are discussed. Often these meanings are taken for granted. Taken from the employees’ and managers’ perspectives, examples such as the retail space and the manager’s office show how the space and artefacts have an influence on individuals’ behaviour, social relations and work identity. The chapter also discusses the phenomenon of leadership through the meanings attached to space.

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