- The Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Researching Professional Service Firms: An Introduction and Overview
- Theoretical Perspectives on the Professions
- Dynamics of Regulation of Professional Service Firms: National and Transnational Developments
- Internationalization of Professional Service Firms: Drivers, Forms, and Outcomes
- Organizations and Occupations: Towards Hybrid Professionalism in Professional Service Firms?
- Professional Ethics: Origins, Applications, and Developments
- Sources of Homogeneity and Heterogeneity across Professional Services
- Leadership and Professionals: Multiple Manifestations of Influence in Professional Service Firms
- Governance in Professional Service Firms: From Structural and Cultural to Legal Normative Views
- Strategy and Strategic Alignment in Professional Service Firms
- Service Innovation in Professional Service Firms: A Review and Future Research Directions
- Entrepreneurship and Professional Service Firms
- Marketing and Reputation within Professional Service Firms
- Client Relationships in Professional Service Firms
- Outsourcing and Offshoring of Professional Services
- Interplay of Professional, Bureaucratic, and Entrepreneurial Career Forms in Professional Service Firms
- Teamwork and Collaboration in Professional Service Firms: Evolution, Challenges, and Opportunities
- Professional Service Firms and Identity
- Knowledge and Learning in Professional Service Firms
- Diversity and Inclusion in Professional Service Firms
- Strategic Human Resource Management and Performance Management in Professional Service Firms
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the foci, resources, and mechanisms of leadership in Professional Service Firms, a context where traditional conceptions of leadership and followership are problematic given the importance of individual autonomy to knowledge-based work. The authors argue that leadership in professional service firms is, above all, a process of interaction among professionals seeking to exercise influence at the individual, organizational, and strategic level. It is manifested explicitly through professional expertise, discretely through political interaction, and implicitly through personal embodiment. The authors suggest that these resources are rarely combined in single individuals, which gives rise to the prevalence of collective forms of leadership, supported by embedded mechanisms of social control that channel professional activity.
Ann Langley is professor of management at HEC Montréal, Canada and holder of the research chair in strategic management in pluralistic settings. Her research focuses on strategic change, inter-professional collaboration, and the practice of strategy in complex organizations. She is particularly interested in process-oriented research and methodology and has published a number of papers on that topic. In 2013, she was co-guest editor with Clive Smallman, Haridimos Tsoukas, and Andrew Van de Ven of a Special Research Forum of Academy of Management Journal on Process Studies of Change in Organizations and Management. She is also co-editor of the journal Strategic Organization, and co-editor with Haridimos Tsoukas of a book series Perspectives on Process Organization Studies published with Oxford University Press. She is adjunct professor at Université de Montréal and University of Gothenburg.
Laura Empson is Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms at Cass Business School, London, and Director of the Cass Centre for Professional Service Firms. Her current research focuses on leadership dynamics in PSFs and is funded by a major grant from the ESRC. Her previous ESRC-funded study was of changing forms of governance in PSFs. Her research into PSFs has also covered themes such as: mergers and acquisitions, professionalisation of management, organizational and individual identity, knowledge and diversity management. In 2013 she was selected to be the Financial Times Professor of the Week. She has published numerous articles in leading international academic journals including Journal of Management Studies, Organisation Studies, Accounting Organizations and Society, and Human Relations, as well as the Oxford University Press book, Managing the Modern Law Firm (ed. 2007). She is a Member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, and the Journal of Professional Organizations. She is also a Member of the ESRC's Peer Review College. She is an Independent Non-Executive of KPMG LLP. She was previously a Reader at the University of Oxford's Said Business School and has had previous careers in investment banking and strategy consulting. She has a PhD and MBA from London Business School and a BSc(Econ) from University College, London.
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