1st Edition

Adaptive Leadership in a Global Economy Perspectives for Application and Scholarship

Edited By Mohammed Raei, Harriette Thurber Rasmussen Copyright 2022
    296 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    296 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With the entire world experiencing the global pandemic and its aftermath, VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) conditions have never been more extreme and the need for adaptive leadership never more urgent. But how is adaptive leadership applied outside Western cultures? How can it be taught through leadership development programs? Which tools enhance its practice and its teaching? How does adaptive leadership relate to other key theories and practices?

    This volume answers these questions and more as it illustrates how adaptive leadership practices address some of the world’s most pressing challenges-political and cultural division, remote work, crisis management-across a variety of sectors. Adaptive leadership has been explained as a key leadership approach for dealing with adaptive, as distinguished from technical or predictable, problems, especially prevalent in complex environments. However, adaptive leadership scholarship has suffered from a lack of conceptual clarity and casual application of its core concepts. It remains solidly Western in its prescriptions. This book will expand readers’ understanding of adaptive leadership and its potential to solve local and global adaptive challenges and will explore its relevance and application to cultures outside the United States.

    Aiming to increase conceptual clarity about adaptive leadership to enhance future scholarship and application and illustrate novel approaches and perspectives, this book will be of interest to researchers, academics, practitioners, and students in the fields of leadership, strategy, and organizational studies.

    Section 1: Foundations

    1. Adaptive and Complexity Leadership: Stronger Together

    Mohammed Raei and Cheryl LeMaster

    2. Giving Credit Where It’s Due: The Theories that Support Adaptive Leadership

    Harriette Thurber Rasmussen and Michael Christopher Boyce

    3. How Teaching Resilience Can Enable Adaptive Leadership

    Jennifer Eggers

    4. Adaptive Leadership and Improvement Science: Natural Bedfellows

    Harriette Thurber Rasmussen, Jacqueline Hawkins, and Robert Crow

    5. Soul Space for Adaptive Work

    Jonathan Reams

    Section 2: Adaptive Leadership in Action

    6. Adaptive Practices on Global Virtual Teams

    Lejla Bilal

    7. Leading from Betwixt and Between: Exploring how Liminal, Rhizomic Spaces Shape, Deepen, and Sustain Adaptive Leadership Mindsets Within Complex Healthcare Systems

    Renee Charney and Lisa Gick

    8. Modifying the Stories We Tell: Discourse as Racial Justice Capacity Building in the Helping Professions

    Cherie Bridges Patrick and Lindsay Lyons

    9. Activism Has Lost Its Way: The Case for Micro-Activism 

    Jeffrey M. Hardesty, Michael Christopher Boyce, and Harriette Thurber Rasmussen

    10. Leading Through Crisis: The Adaptive Leadership of Jacinda Ardern

    Deidre M. Le Fevre

    Section 3: Adaptive Leadership Across Cultures

    11. Adaptive leadership in the Chinese Context: Can Adaptive Leadership be Applied in China?

    Mohammed Raei

    12. Kabuki Leadership: Cultivating Adaptive Leadership in a Hierarchical Collectivist Culture in Japan

    Risako (Lisa) Watanabe and Ryosuke (Reo) Watanabe

    13. Japanese Universities’ Response to the Global Pandemic Crisis: Harnessing Collective Intelligence to Activate Adaptive and Collaborative Leadership Practices

    Soyhan Egitim

    14. Democratic Indigenous Adaptive Leadership (DIAL): An American Indian Women Leadership Model

    Shannon Kenny and Four Arrows aka Don Trend Jacobs 

    15. The Adaptive Leader as a Mentor–A Practice from Brazil

    Magda C Kaspary and Rita Michel

    16. Applications of Adaptive Leadership in Central and Eastern European Contexts

    Tomas Hancil and Mathew Rich-Tolsma


    Mohammed Raei is an Independent Leadership and Organization Development Consultant.

    Harriette Thurber Rasmussen is Assitant Clinical Professor at Drexel University’s School of Education, USA.

    "A substantial contribution of voices thoughtfully questioning the applicability of prevailing Western leadership models to our time. In a world beset by wicked challenges from the pandemic to authoritarianism to climate change, the chapters look at adaptive leadership’s ability to address our planet in peril." Laurien Alexandre, PhD, Dean, Graduate School of Leadership & Change, Antioch University, USA

    "Adaptive Leadership in a Global Economy: Perspectives for Application and Scholarship offers multiple lenses to look through at the adaptive leadership framework. One of its strengths is the consideration of leadership - as it is described: 'a decision to act', 'curiosity and learning - in cross-cultural contexts." Tamas Kowalik, Third Floor Research Associate & 08’ Harvard Kennedy School Alumnus, USA

    "This volume is a welcome addition to the literature on adaptive leadership. Its application to the complexity of today’s leadership challenges and extended theoretical framing will be useful to scholar practitioners here at Drexel and around the globe." Penny L. Hammrich, PhD, Dean of the School of Education, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA

    "In an era characterized by political divide and unprecedented challenge this book applies social-emotional skills such as compassion and resilience to adaptive leadership practices, offering essential strategies for all leaders, especially those charged with the academic, social, and emotional development of this generation." Sheldon Berman, Retired Superintendent, CASEL 2020 Award Recipient, Excellence in Social-Emotional Research and Practice

    "Heifetz warned us in the 90s that things were getting complicated, that leadership needed to be adaptive. This new volume edited by Raei and Rasmussen provides great insight into the practices of adaptive leadership--skills every education leader needs to help communities face complex challenges." Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart

    "A curious and at times controversial series of essays which build on Heifetz’s original work on adaptive leadership, weaving it into work on resilience and aspects of complexity science. It provides a valuable resource for scholars and thinking practitioners in the field of leadership under conditions of uncertainty." Dave Snowden, Director Cynefin Centre, CSO Cognitive Edge

    "Adaptive Leadership in a Global Economy is itself an exercise in adaptive work. The contributors help us make meaning of inspiring global case studies while proposing complementary approaches that can help practitioners transform organizational culture, catalyze systems change, advance racial justice and address a host of other critical adaptive challenges facing our world today." Marc Ross Manashil, Adjunct Assistant Professor, NYU Silver School of Social Work, USA

    "Raei and Rasmussen’s collection of essays take up Heifetz’s model of adaptive leadership and show how it can be applied and taught globally. The collection provides concrete case studies in Adaptive Leadership encountered in a wide range of major cultures including, among others, China, Japan, and Latin America. The contributors’ tales are wide in range and rich in content. It’s a stimulating read." William McCormack, former Director of International Education at the University of California, Berkeley, USA

    "As a merging of theory and practice, this volume offers the reader a look at adaptive leadership theory and how it is applied in various settings in the US and abroad. This multicultural perspective is enhanced by the diversity of backgrounds and experience that the authors bring to the writing, making the volume a true scholarly practitioner work." Jill Alexa Perry, Associate Professor of the Practice, University of Pittsburgh & Executive Director, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, USA