Leadership in Spaces and Places
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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.
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Chapter 2: Work isn’t where it used to be

Siri Hunnes Blakstad


This chapter is about places for work in the networked and mobile organization. A review of workplaces in history and today highlights that places for work reflect management theories, and that space affects leadership, culture and organization. The workplace today is characterized by a network of places to in which to work and to interact. The chapter identifies four aspects of the new workplace that affect leadership, management, and control: (1) openness and transparency; (2) formal and informal places for interaction; (3) serendipity and creating possibilities for chance encounters; (4) integration of places with different use and ownership. The mobile, dispersed workplace creates a dichotomy in leadership. On the one hand there is a push for more openness, cooperation, interaction and transparency, which in many ways promote aesthetic, bodily and shared leadership. On the other hand, many leaders have to lead people they cannot see all the time. This may mean that they will lose some of the information, and the possibilities to influence on others, by not being physically present in the same space.

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