Leadership discourse

Judith Baxter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Leadership discourse is both a type of discourse and an emerging field of study. The field examines the ways in which senior people construct their identities through interaction in business and professional settings such as meetings, interviews, and conference calls. The study of leadership discourse has moved away from psychological approaches based on charisma and communication skills, and toward social constructionist and discursive perspectives of how leadership is enacted and performed. Focusing principally on spoken interactions, this article explores definitions of leadership and discourse, the relationship between the two concepts, and the theoretical antecedents of the field of study. It also identifies the major methodological approaches used to analyze leadership discourse with examples from the work of scholars deploying each approach. The article concludes with some reflections on future directions for this field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe encyclopedia of language and social interaction
EditorsKaren Tracy, Cornelia Ilie, Todd Sandel
Place of PublicationBoston (US)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-118-61146-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-118-61110-4
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2015

Publication series

NameICAZ - Wiley Blackwell-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication



  • professional identities
  • leadership
  • linguistic interactions

Cite this

Baxter, J. (2015). Leadership discourse. In K. Tracy, C. Ilie, & T. Sandel (Eds.), The encyclopedia of language and social interaction (Vol. 3, pp. 953-962). (ICAZ - Wiley Blackwell-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication). Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118611463.wbielsi084