Through the eyes of Alvesson and Sveningsson (2003), leadership is a concept which is made to appear extraordinary when in actuality, is merely ordinary. Thorough research on managers carrying out ordinary actions suggests that leadership is all about making mundane activities look extraordinary. This is illustrated through interviewing and monitoring employees of senior and middle management in a big firm. It was concluded that the main skill many look upon their leaders to possess is listening. While listening is an extremely common act by managers and leaders both, the distinction between them are made obvious by the person performing it. It is viewed as having exceptional importance when a highly admirable and significant person is carrying it out. Therefore, this occurrence is described as ‘the extra-ordinarization of the mundane’ which indicates that it was perhaps a sense of leadership which made listening a significant act and not in itself, one that amounts to leadership.
Alvesson and Sveningsson’s (2003) leadership concept can be closely linked to the leadership studies carried out by Michigan and Ohio State Universities. Michigan’s employee oriented behavior and Ohio’s consideration behavior can be categorized as being people oriented, which takes into account the employees’ needs. Michigan’s production oriented behaviour, however, similar to Ohio’s initiating structure behavior, is task oriented and focuses on obeying rules and regulations in order to reach goals. Though both styles are effective, people oriented behaviour tends to show a higher level of efficiency and motivation while generating a lower amount of absenteeism. Leadership, as Alvesson and Sveningsson (2003) has suggested, relates more towards the people oriented behaviour in the sense that leaders display care and concern towards their employees, including speaking and listening to them as if they were equals unlike the production oriented and initiating structure which is more task oriented.