The second half of the twentieth century witnessed the emergence of the most complex global organizations ever known. Taking a complexity theory perspective, this book explores the key factor that sustains them: leadership.
The book examines how leadership is currently understood primarily from a systems based perspective, as an attribute of the individual, the leadership role being to articulate values, missions and visions and then persuade others to adhere to them. It argues for a new view of ethics as co-created through identity and difference, representing the end of 'business ethics' as we know it today. Areas considered include:
- risk and conflict
- spontaneity and motivation.
In the past we have focused on the choices of individual leaders. In today's highly complex organizations we are now coming to understand the nature of leadership as self-organizing and, as such, closely linked to ethics. This means that we can no longer understand ethics simply as centered rational choice in planning and action.
Douglas Griffin is an Associate Director of the Complexity and Management Centre at the University of Hertfordshire. He has worked for most of the last 20 years as an independent consultant in the areas of cross-cultural teamworking and organization development. During this time he has also been employed by 3M Germany in strategic personnel development and organizational learning services.
'The Emergence of Leadership offers courses in management and leadership, especially those that focus on ethics from a philosophical perspective and draw upon and develop theoretical tools, an opportunity to do serious conceptual work.' - Organization Studies