Management/Leadership: Profession, Professional, Professionalization

  • Rikke Kristine Nielsen
  • Thomas Duus Henriksen
  • Kenneth Børgesen


This chapter argues the timeliness of establishing leadership as a semi-profession through certification processes driven by managerial professional associations/unions. We point to positioning leadership as a semi-profession as a vehicle for driving a professionalization through knowledge-sharing among development professionals and managers, development of a common vocabulary and not least by directing the attention of scarce, yet often “uneducated” managerial talent to the fact that leadership is a skill that can and should be acquired and nurtured. Although a lack of a grand unifying theory of leadership complicates a certification of leadership, it is argued that the cost of bad leadership and the upside of professional leadership merits that more attention be directed to the development and deployment of professional leadership competence.


Semi-professionalization Professional associations Managerial talent shortage Cost of bad leadership Leadership impact potential and quality Certification 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rikke Kristine Nielsen
    • 1
  • Thomas Duus Henriksen
    • 1
  • Kenneth Børgesen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Learning and PhilosophyAalborg UniversityCopenhagenDenmark

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