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Abstract

This article explores middle managerial talk and practice connected to expectations
of leadership in a planned corporate cultural change programme. Here we explore how
a middle manager positions him or herself in relation to contemporary discourse on
leadership. We discuss how managerial claims of leadership in practice seem
inconsistent with the actual practice. Based on these findings we suggest that
leadership ideas could be seen as a kind of fantasy related to identity work, rather
than actual practice. We investigate this fantasy in terms of its various sources
and relate the fantasy construction to management education and to the planned
cultural change in particular.

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Fantasies of Leadership: Identity Work
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