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Retos de la Dirección

On-line version ISSN 2306-9155


VALDES FLORAT, Mirlandia Odilia. What is the leadership? Theoretical contradictions and alternative solution. Rev retos [online]. 2022, vol.16, n.2, pp. 148-169.  Epub Aug 30, 2022. ISSN 2306-9155.


Develop a definition of the leadership concept from the science of management, which is in harmony with the dialectical materialist conception of the role of the subject in history.


Documentary review and critical analysis of the considerations about leadership present in texts by renowned scholars of administration and organizational behavior, in order to delimit the contradictions, present in them and develop an alternative definition that would allow solving these difficulties.

Main result:

Definition of leadership that considers this phenomenon, in essence, as a social emergency.


The contradictions between the authors' preference for contingency theories when explaining the phenomenon of leadership and the definitions they offer about leadership originate in a philosophical approach that gives primacy to the role of the individual in history with respect to the historical context and with respect to the masses. A definition of leadership as a social emergency can solve this contradiction starting from a dialectical materialist conception of the role of the individual in history. From this understanding, the possibility of deliberately training leaders to exercise this role in an organization is denied, and the idea that the development of the leader must be carried out in dialogue with those involved during the practical exercise of their duties is defended.

Keywords : Leadership; definition of leadership; theories about leadership.

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