Demystifying Business Celebrity
Routledge – 2009 – 180 pages
Business celebrities such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch are among the most widely recognised, admired and sometimes even vilified individuals in the world. Like their celebrity peers from the entertainment, sports, arts and political worlds, business celebrities exert an influence that is pervasive, but difficult to assess, evaluate and explain.
Business celebrities have been around for as long as big business itself, but this is the first book to provide a systematic exploration of how they are constructed and why they exist. Business celebrities include entrepreneurs, CEOs, and management gurus. The book argues that these individuals are not self-made, but rather are created by a process of widespread media exposure to the point that their actions, personalities and even private lives function symbolically to represent significant dynamics and tensions prevalent in the contemporary business environment.
Demystifying Business Celebrity raises questions about the impact and significance of the production of celebrity upon our understanding of, and our ability to promote the practice of leadership in an enlightened manner. The book will prove a useful addition to the enlightened business student’s bookshelf and will be informative reading for all those with an interest in business and management.
1. Introduction: Why Demystifying Business Celebrities Matters 2. Business Celebrities and the Celebrity Business 3. Management Gurus as Management Fashion Celebrities 4. The Many Faces of Business Celebrity 5. Open Season: The Celebrity CEO Backlash 6. The Celebrification of Heroic Leadership 7. The Production of Business Celebrities and the Production of Leadership
Eric Guthey is Associate Professor of Intercultural Communication and Management at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
Timothy Clark is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Durham Business School, UK. He has authored a number of books including Management Speak, with David Greatbatch (Routledge, 2005).
Brad Jackson is the Fletcher Building Education Trust Chair in Leadership at The University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand. His previous books include Management Gurus and Management Fashions (Routledge, 2001).