chapter  6
Embedding Leadership in Task Performance
ByVIVIANE M.J. ROBINSON
Pages 13

In his recent review of research on leadership in the Handbook of Organization Studies, Alan Bryman (1996) writes that ‘Leadership theory and research have been remarkably and surprisingly uncoupled from the more general field [organization studies] in which they are located’ (p. 259). Much leadership research floats ethereally above the humdrum of organizational life, abstracted from the tasks that leaders are alleged to help others accomplish. When leadership is disconnected from tasks we pay too little attention to their structure and to the resources required to progress them. We may also misunderstand the skills and capacities involved in leadership, focusing too much on decontextualized processes of interpersonal influence and too little on substantive task-related expertise.