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The differentiating function of modern forms of leadership

Jan Torpman (Södertörns Högskola, Huddinge, Sweden)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



According to recent developments in decision‐making theory organizational decisions are governed by organizational values and identities according to a logic of appropriateness rather than calculative and preference‐driven rationality. Similarly, leadership theory has developed from ideas about leadership as an exchange between superiors and subordinates (transactional leadership) to ideas about symbolic manipulation of organizational values and identities (transformational leadership). In this paper, it is shown how the combination of organizational and personal identities in decision‐making and leadership can cause decision‐making problems. Where individuals are encouraged as organizational members to identify with the organization, and thus, be motivated beyond a perspective of give and take, an overlap between individual and organizational identities should be expected. Also discussed how individual decision‐makers' insufficient understanding of organizational decision‐premises may lead to the faulty replacement of organizational identities with individual values and identities.



Torpman, J. (2004), "The differentiating function of modern forms of leadership", Management Decision, Vol. 42 No. 7, pp. 892-906.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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