From influence to power: Elements for a foucauldian view of leadership

Juan Javier Saavedra Mayorga, Mauricio Sanabria, Ali Smida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper aims to contribute to building a critical view of leadership by analyzing the possibility of studying influence, as the central problem of leadership, from the broader perspective of power relations between individuals, and in particular from the theory of power by Michel Foucault. The article reviews the work of Michel Foucault and its use by organizational studies, and proposes the thesis that his philosophy, which indicates a close relationship between discourse and devices for the exercise of power, can contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms used for exerting an influence on organizations. To develop this thesis we explore three complementary ways of studying leadership from the perspective of Foucault: Leadership as discourse, as a technology of power, and as technique of the inner self.

Translated title of the contributionDe la influencia al poder: Elementos para una mirada foucaultiana al Liderazgo
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-34
Number of pages18
Issue number50
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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