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Title: The lack of power or the power of lack in leadership as a discursively constructed identity
Author: Michaela Driver

Abstract: The study uses a psychoanalytic framework to explore how leadership identities are constructed. It advances the idea that leadership identities are imaginary constructions that invariable fail, reiterating a lack of being. Empirical material consisting of interviews with 15 leaders is used to explore the productive role this lack plays. The study suggests that leadership identities are always already subverted by unconscious desire and therefore less powerful than we might think with regard to imposing structures on others, but also much more powerful than we might think as liberating struggles with leaders’ imaginary selves.

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