There are at least four main strands of criticism in relation to leadership: conceptual criticism, feminist criticism, ‘heroic’ criticism and social work criticism. Conceptual criticism argues that the very concept of leadership is so widely defined as to have very limited analytic value. Feminist criticism argues that leadership theories rely on gender distinctions that favour masculine over feminine values in the workplace. ‘Heroic’ criticism argues that leadership theory places too much emphasis on singular individuals. Finally, social work criticism argues that leadership is part of a process of modernisation that can be antagonistic to professional social work.