The portrayal of leadership in popular culture

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to provide in-depth research on power and influence attempts in the context of leadership, through analyzing the discourse in popular culture in the form of movies. Methodology: In order to address the research question a qualitative study has been conducted with a discourse analysis as the main tool, complemented with a narrative analysis. The reasoning behind the paper is social constructionism, with an abductive approach. Theoretical perspectives: This study was conducted with the theoretical perspective of affecting leadership effectiveness through the use of deliberately structured influence attempts. Empirical foundation: The source of the empirical material was popular culture in the form of movies. Specifically, the two movies The Dark Knight and Inception. Conclusions: The study’s three key findings were mirroring of discourse and influence tactics within influence attempts, that discourse and power affect one another, and ambiguity in the outcome of an influence attempts. All in the context of leadership, portrayed in popular culture.

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