The performativity of (non)sense-making: Reflexive leadership in the Danish public sector

Rasmus Bergmann, Mie Plotnikof

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


While traditionally downgraded in favour of quick and decisive action, reflexivity has recently been highlighted as key to modern leadership practice (Alvesson, Blom, & Sveningson, 2017; Broussine & Ahmad, 2013; Cunliffe & Jun, 2005). Considered as the ambition and ability to question dominant beliefs and expectation and to ponder about alternatives, reflexivity destabilizes organizational order, whereas lack of reflexivity conversely contributes to maintaining and strengthening this order (Alvesson & Spicer, 2012). Despite its status as a buzzword in the leadership literature, reflexivity still only takes up a minor part of the curriculum in most management education programs (Parker, 2018). This is probably because questioning organizational rules and routines can be perceived as threatening and needless, especially if you as a student are looking for tools to simplify your leadership practice (Cunliffe, 2009; Parker, 2016). However, ongoing debates about critical reflexivity and critical performativity suggest that reflexivity is of key importance to develop more collaborative, responsive, and ethical ways of leading organizations (Broussine & Ahmad, 2013; Cunliffe, 2004; Cunliffe & Jun, 2005).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event11th International Critical Management Studies Conference: Precarious Presents, Open Futures - The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201929 Jun 2019
Conference number: 11


Conference11th International Critical Management Studies Conference
LocationThe Open University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityMilton Keynes
Internet address


  • management, organizational development and innovation


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