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dc.contributor.authorOrr, Kevin
dc.identifier.citationOrr , K 2014 , ' Local government chief executives’ everyday hauntings : towards a theory of organizational ghosts ' , Organization Studies , vol. 35 , no. 7 , pp. 1041-1061 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 100092020
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 62a7e72d-67d2-4ad5-8a2a-478425242251
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000337958000005
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84902993899
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-3024-3997/work/81797650
dc.description.abstractThis paper develops a theory of organizational ghosts, a concept that describes the haunted and burdensome aspects of organizational life and in particular of leadership action. The concept of organizational ghosts is not offered as yet another metaphor, a lens through which to analyse particular organizations. Rather, I offer my discussion of ghosts as a theoretical concept that explains how inheritances of the past haunt the relations and struggles of the present. I tell a ghostly tale of the everyday leadership and learning practices of UK local government chief executives, and provide an exploration of organizational ghosts as a contribution to the growing interest in the action in the shadows, atmospheres, margins and boundaries of organizations. Drawing upon an ethnographic study of UK local councils, and embracing the multiplicity and heterogeneity of organizational ghosts, the paper considers the theoretical, political and ethical stakes involved in taking ghosts seriously. Its contribution is to show how ghosts are insinuated in organizations and to highlight leaders as figures who are both willing agents and uneasy hosts of hauntings, and to point to the mediating role of leaders in handling confrontations between the past, the present and the future.
dc.relation.ispartofOrganization Studiesen
dc.rightsThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
dc.subjectLeadership studiesen
dc.subjectPhilosophical analysis of organizationsen
dc.subjectPublic administration and organizationsen
dc.subjectJC Political theoryen
dc.subjectHB Economic Theoryen
dc.titleLocal government chief executives’ everyday hauntings : towards a theory of organizational ghostsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Managementen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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