Tools and Techniques of Leadership and Management: Meeting the Challenge of Complexity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Tools and Techniques of Leadership and Management

Meeting the Challenge of Complexity, 1st Edition

By Ralph Stacey


182 pages

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Many of today’s books on the tools and techniques of leadership and management provide descriptions of long lists for use in decision-making, leading, coaching and project management. This book takes a completely different approach. It contests the claims that the tools and techniques are based on evidence and explains why human activities of leading and managing are simply not amenable to scientific proof and consequently, why long-term futures of organizations are unpredictable.

The book undertakes a critical exploration of just what these tools and techniques are about; showing that while they may lead to competent performance they cannot go further to expert performance because expertise involves going beyond rules and procedures. Ralph Stacey investigates the many questions that are thrown up as a result of this new approach. Questions such as:

  • How do we apply this new way of thinking?
  • What are the practical tools and techniques it gives us?
  • What is the role of leaders in an unpredictable world?
  • How does complexity affect the way organizations are structured and function?

This book will be relevant to students on courses and modules that deal with leadership, decision-making and organizational development and behaviour as well as professional leaders and managers who want to develop their own understanding and techniques.


'This book really challenges current thinking on leadership and provides an exciting new perspective on complexity in today’s organizations.'

Jean-Anne Stewart, Director of Corporate MBA Programmes, Henley Business School, UK

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Theory of Complex Responsive Processes: Understanding Organizations as Patterns of Interaction between People 3. Understanding Organizing Activities as the Game: The Social Background of Leadership and Management Activities 4. The Leadership and Management Tools and Techniques of Instrumental Rationality: Rules and Step by Step Procedures 5. The Limitations of the Tools and Techniques of Instrumental Rationality: Incompatibility with Expert Performance 6. The Leadership and Management Techniques of Disciplinary Power: Surveillance and Normalization 7. Taking the Techniques of Disciplinary Power to the Extreme: Domination and Coercive Persuasion 8. Institutions and the Techniques of Leadership and Management: Habits, Rules and Routines 9. The Leadership and Management ‘Techniques’ of Practical Judgment: Reflexive Inquiry, Improvisation and Political Adroitness 10. Conclusion: Frequently Asked Questions Appendix - Reflexive Narrative Inquiry: Movements in my Thinking and how I find Myself Working Differently as a Consequence

About the Author

Ralph Stacey is Professor of Management and founding member of, and currently supervisor on, an innovative Master and Doctoral programme in complexity, leadership and organizational change at the Business School of the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. He is also a member of the Institute of Group Analysis. Ralph has published numerous titles, many of them with Routledge, and is co-editor of Routledge's series on Complexity as the Experience of Organizing

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management