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Complexity Leadership Theory - Essay Example

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Traditional leadership models are insufficient when dealing with the dynamic nature of leadership in an organization hence the need to develop new leadership models. Complexity theory refers to the science of complex interacting systems of large organizing systems. …
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Complexity Leadership Theory
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Complexity Leadership Theory Complexity Leadership Theory Traditional leadership models are insufficient when dealing with thedynamic nature of leadership in an organization hence the need to develop new leadership models (Mary & Russ 2009). Complexity theory refers to the science of complex interacting systems of large organizing systems. The theory defines the nature of interaction and adaptation in leadership. It explains how emergence, innovation, and fitness get influenced in an organization. The theory explains leadership as the actions that drive organizational effectiveness contrary to guiding effectiveness. Complexity leadership theory advocates for shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era. The theory solves problems creatively and adopts to change quickly. In this theory, individuals join to improve the overall organization performance. The theory advocates for innovation and a sense of collective identity within the organization (Mary & Russ 2009).
Complexity leadership theory has three types of leadership in an organization. The administrative, adaptive and enabling constitute the leadership types. Administrative leadership addresses the bureaucratic importance in an organization. The form adopts the complex, progressive, actions capable of bringing about adaptive change. Adaptive leadership is informal leadership and helps individuals to develop solutions and ideas for the adaptive needs of the organization. The style produces new ideas, adaptability and positive change. Enabling leadership connects the other two leadership forms. The form recognizes that administrative and adaptive leadership must work together to attain an organization with normal functions. These intertwined functions describe leadership behaviours and not individual action. Anybody within the organization can take these functions. Complexity leadership considers behaviours that individuals engage in and their impact on the organization systems (Mary & Russ 2009).
The theory focuses on complex adaptive systems which involve a network of interdependent agents sharing a common need. The adaptive complex system advocates for myriad behaviours and valuables in a system which results in complexity and the emergence of certain behaviours. The complex adaptive theory offers ways of how leadership can be explored easily away from the traditional view. The complexity develops new features referred to as emergent properties, which are richly, interactive, dynamic and unpredictable. The complex leadership theory approach gets driven by the desire to come up with leadership styles that reflect the complexity of leadership in real practice. An example of complex adaptive system in an organization is bureaucracy. A bureaucratic structure provides a hierarchy of coordinated rules and procedures structurally organized in an organization. Today, formal organizations follow the bureaucratic principles in their leadership models (Mary & Russ 2009).
Complexity leadership theory integrates the interactive dynamics developed by the various emerging leadership theories. This includes leadership types like shared, collective and relational leadership. The complexity leadership theory recognizes that adaptive function as an emergent dynamic strategy. The theory states that the key basis of organizational volatility emanates from within the organization. This is from interaction of individuals and groups whose actions interact and adapt to each other without the control of the leaders. These non linear behaviours also called mechanisms according to meso dynamics influence the theory. Both mechanism and complex holds that the outcome, and cannot be predicted because many individuals interact in complex ways within a social system (Mary & Russ 2009).
In my opinion, complexity leadership theory is of much help to leaders in an organization. The theory argues that certain interactions will have a nonlinear influence on the future of a social network. The theory is of importance to the research on networks and shows how leadership events occur and relate to emergent nodes in an organization. The theory helps in explaining the role of individuals in the development of structures and opportunities in an organization. The theory reflects a different approach to explaining how to manage and lead organization dynamic capabilities such as innovations and alliance making. The theory explains leadership as the capability to integrate individual behaviours and resources in an organization to yield positive results.
The theory develops new managerial strategies creating adaptive changes. The theory focuses on how leadership occurs in interaction expanding the potential for positive change and creativity in an organization. The theory encourages individuals to be leaders. It provides a clear pathway for driving responsibilities down the hierarchy and encouraging self organization. This gives leaders time to identify strategic opportunities and bridge gaps across the hierarchy. Making interactions and relationships core in an organization improves ethical and moral behaviours. The theory creates a pathway for diversity and respect through the emphasis on heterogeneity and cultural consideration.
In conclusion, leaders need to learn to interact effectively with the changes and complexities within the organization. Complexity leadership theory fosters valuable yet ignored informal behaviours in a complex adaptive system. Exceptional leaders need to demonstrate a vast range of characters. The leader should have the courage to take actions, should be human to connect with different individuals and should be resilient and wise to drive creative change.
Reference
Uhl-Bien, M & Russ, M 2009, ‘Complexity leadership in bureaucratic forms of organizing’
The Leadership Quarterly Journal, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 56-68. Read More
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