An Empirical Study of Leadership and Strategy in a Copper Mining Environment: Care of the Self, Interactional Patterns and Sustainability
Puga, Federico Manuel
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To enable future publication of the research
This study extends the understanding of leadership emergence from a relational perspective (Hosking, 2011; Cunliffe & Eriksen, 2011; Uhl-Bien, 2006), specifically related to the forming of trusting relationships. The argument follows from the conceptual development of subjectification processes referred to as “care of the self” (Foucault M. , 1988; Foucault M. , 2005) and the implications of “regimes of practices" (Foucault M. , 2010; Dean, 2010). The findings contribute to our understanding of the relation between patterns of differentiation and reciprocity (as contextual definitions) and the relational emergence of leadership. We conceive leadership formed by actions that have no instrumental purpose beyond constructing a subject able to form trusting relationships and judge this to be a phronetic practice. The research is based on a case study of the executive team of a large copper mining company implementing a sustainability strategy that has as its central purpose the construction of trusting relations within a complex net of stakeholders. Based on this case, my second contribution is to conceptualise the function of “parrhēsia practice” (Foucault M. , 2010), a “truth game” about truth, truth-telling and action in the relation of the self and others, which is significant in the formation of the relational leadership of the “conscious pariah” (Arendt, 1978). The study examines how it is that “truth games” of examining the self and “reframing” interactional patterns can facilitate the relational emergence of phronetic forms of leadership. The research methodology, designed to deal from a non-dualistic perspective with the relational emergence of leadership, uses a narrative research approach to describe practices (Czarniawska, Narratives in Social Science Research, 2011). It is “uncovered” as representational and dualistic in the research relation, and a discussion of how a non-dualistic research approach could be developed is provided.
PhD in Leadership Studies