Leadership under construction: A qualitative exploration of leadership processes in construction companies in Sweden.
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Leadership has increasingly been advocated as a potent organizing practice, linked positively to several performance dimensionsas well as successful organizational development and change. Despite these alleged promises, the specific characteristics of leadership proc-esses as they unfold in a construction context have not been fully captured by construction researchers. This paper is predicated on anidentified lack of methodological richness underlying leadership studies in construction. While a growing number of contributions havequantitatively tested the ideas and models of leadership scholars, few have qualitatively explored the experiences and interpretations ofthe actual people that practice leadership in their daily work in construction companies. Drawing on a rich qualitative interview study, thispaper analyzes open-ended stories about leadership in the largest construction companies in Sweden. The findings show how leadership styleshave been shaped to align with traditional work and organizing principles, but also how they, by the same token, pose a seemingly unresolvedtension with change initiatives that seek to reorganize to improve organizational performance. Altogether, these findings indicate that there aregrounds to question the transformative potential of leadership in construction companies, as practiced today. The paper concludes by outliningthe practical implications of these findings, together with some analytical generalizations that can serve as pointers for a strengthened lead-ership agenda in construction research, one that is characterized by an increased methodological richness and accentuated focus on thecontext-specific aspects of leadership

Construction companies

Qualitative method

Social process.

Managerial work



Martin Löwstedt

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Innovation and R&D Management

Jonas Fasth

Göteborgs universitet

Alexander Styhre

Göteborgs universitet

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management - ASCE

0733-9364 (ISSN) 19437862 (eISSN)

Vol. 147 12 05021010

Ledarskapets roll för ett framgångsrikt samhällsbyggande

Centrum för management i byggsektorn (CMB), 2020-01-01 -- 2021-06-15.


Building Futures (2010-2018)



Innovation och entreprenörskap






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