The Virtual Leader Construct: The Mass Mediatization and Simulation of Transformational Leadership

David M. Boje, Carl Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores what happens when leaders and leadership becomes virtualized through the mass media and proposes the Virtual Leader Construct (VLC) – a non-human image of a leader who is purposefully created by an organization. Using examples from the fast food industry it is proposed that there are three orders of the VLC: VLC as an imitation of a former flesh-and-blood leader; VLC as a creative re-representation of a former leader; and VLC as a fabricated leader with no direct relation to an actual person. It is argued that VLCs can and do perform potent transformation leadership functions for organizations – functions that are further enabled the more they are virtualized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-428
Number of pages22
JournalLeadership
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Baudrillard
  • fast food industry
  • mediatization
  • resemiotization
  • transformational leadership
  • Virtual Leadership Construct

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