Leaders, Power, and the Paradoxical Position: Fantasies for Leaders’ Liberation

Gerardo David Abreu Pederzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


In this article, I explore how by furthering our understanding of the concept of power, a critical perspective of the leaders and power debate could emerge, where leaders are no longer only sources of power and almighty heroes but, by contrast, become accepted for the impotence that concurrently characterizes them too. The paradoxical position, of how leaders are demanded to control things they cannot, is an example of power over leaders. In order to cope, with power over them, such as their paradoxical position, leaders fantasize, and through their own fantasies, leaders could liberate themselves. By taking the case of England’s higher education sector and its leaders, where primary qualitative research was done during a recent period of turmoil, the article explores how leaders through their fantasizing could liberate themselves from their paradoxical position. Particularly, I explore the role of magical realist fantasies, which disguise the fantasy as a matter-of-fact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-338
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • cognitive perspectives
  • leadership
  • power and politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Leaders, Power, and the Paradoxical Position: Fantasies for Leaders’ Liberation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this