Leadership in the Age of Business Celebrity

Research Cluster

Speaker:Brad Jackson, Professor Leadership at the University of Auckland, New Zealand
Date: Thursday 25 February 2010
Time: 1300 hrs
Location: Streatham Court Room 106

Further details

Business celebrities such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch are among the most widely recognised, admired and sometimes vilified individuals in the world. Like their celebrity peers from the entertainment, sports, arts and political worlds, business celebrities exert an influence that is pervasive, but difficult to assess, evaluate and explain.

Drawing upon a recently published book, Demystifying Business Celebrity, this seminar will provide a systematic and historic exploration of how these business celebrities are constructed and what functions they perform. Business celebrities include entrepreneurs, CEOs, and management gurus. Contrary to the public mythos, these individuals are not self-made, but rather are created by a process of widespread media exposure to the point that their actions, personalities and even private lives function symbolically to represent significant dynamics and tensions prevalent in the contemporary business environment. The seminar will close by considering the impact and significance of the production of celebrity upon our understanding of, and our ability to promote the practice of leadership in an enlightened manner.