Complexity theory and leadership for turbulent environments
Mason, Roger Bruce
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Businesses and their environments are complex adaptive systems, and are therefore too complex to be ‘managed’ by a single leader. Thus, the traditional view of a leader as a decision-maker, instructing and controlling the organisation is inappropriate in complex/turbulent environments. A qualitative, case method, using depth interviews, investigated leadership activities in four companies, in a country with a turbulent environment, to identify if self-organising leadership is more effective in turbulent environments than traditional bureaucratic management. The findings showed that self-organising leadership appears superior in turbulent environments. These findings and their implications are discussed, and recommendations for further research are made.
Mason, R.B. 2013. Complexity theory and leadership for turbulent environments. Journal of Social Sciences. 36(3): 295-307.