The leaderful quality of resistance within human-nonhuman encounters at work

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This paper shows the importance of more-than-human materialities in surfacing how affective processes of leaderful resistance emerge in the workplace. Employing a Spinozo-Deluzian approach to affect, we develop a new materialist analysis showing how more-than-human materialities resist in encounters with humans, generating flows of affect that lead. Based on a 9-month affective and virtual ethnography, we uncover two ways more-than-human matter resist we label affective hindrance – subtle barriers; and decompositional rupture – the undermining or breaking of relationships. These affective forces help explain how processes of resistance are co-produced in material encounters and how such relations both lead and resist in day-to-day organising, resulting in changes to work processes or reverberations that surface later, generating further leaderful resistance. Our work extends research that understands leadership as a less positive and organised process unfolding in unexpected ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Nov 2023


  • Leadership
  • Resistance
  • Affect
  • Materiality
  • Ethnography

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