The DemoCratic Workplace: Empowering People (demos) to Rule (cratos) Their Own Workplace

Rune Kvist Olsen


In an earlier paper “A change from leadership (vertical power-structure) to leadingship (horizontal power-structure) at work: The theory and practice” (2006), I introduced an evolution in the conceptualization of the term “leading”. The main purpose with this evolutionary exercise was to form a new word that could better describe what “selfleadership” could be about with the aim of preventing preconceptions and misconceptions. The conception of the word “leadership” is ingrained with a lot of associations, assumptions, perceptions and beliefs. I needed a term that precisely and specifically could develop a new understanding and conception of the “function of leading as a personalized and internalized process” in contrast to the conventional conception of leading connected to “the person above in the lead of someone below to be led”. On this background I formed the term “leadingship” and developed a specific methodology to illustrate the alternative options in designing and implementing visions, values and actions in organizational life accordingly. You will find the description of the terminology of “leadingship” later in this article.


Leadership,Unions,Democratic Workplace

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ISSN 1715-0094  Workplace