Against Professionalizing Leadership: The Roles of Self-Formation and Practical Wisdom in Leadership

  • Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen
  • Marita Svane


Based on the concepts self-formation and phronesis (practical wisdom), this chapter argues against professionalizing leadership. Professionalization implies rules, guidelines, procedures and accreditation standards in relation to contents, curricula and the pedagogy of education. It thus misconceives the role of leadership education to be only a question of acquiring epistemic (rational and universal) knowledge and skills while it fails to acknowledge technê as craft and art, and local and situated awareness and sensitivity. Practical wisdom involves all dimensions. Leadership education is important because of its potential to nurture a creative, critical and responsible relation to the world. Leadership thus requires a practice-based educational program and a “free space” for experimentation, reflection and self-formation, which is inconsistent with turning leadership into a profession.


Self-formation Phronesis Leadership education Episteme Technê Professionalization of leadership 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen
    • 1
  • Marita Svane
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business and ManagementAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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