Leadership as a Profession: A Special Case Dependent on Organizational Ownership, Governance, Mission and Vision

  • Peter Davis


Davis argues ownership is significant in determining organizational purpose and authentic professionalism depends on the existence of a human-centered purpose. He critiques models for professionalization based on codes and guild-style institutions as inadequate. Davis utilizes the co-operative ownership form to develop a Weberian-style ideal type model of “Co-operative Leader” to illustrate his argument. Davis critiques both the Weberian approach to legitimation and Foucault’s focus on individual permanent resistance to power arguing instead that a professional leadership in organizations and associations is possible when the latter’s focus is upon emancipation from constraints to realizing human potential. He concludes the ideal type provides a practical guide to leadership development and performance evaluation when applied to not for profit, social economy and public-owned organizations.


Co-operative Movement Leadership Legitimation Ideal types Organisational purpose Permanent resistance Professionalism Values in management 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Co-operative Management Education and Development, Sobey School of BusinessSaint Marys UniversityHalifaxCanada

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