Traditional leadership models are insufficient when dealing with the dynamic 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 adapts 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 of 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 behaviors and not individual action. Anybody within the organization can take these functions. Complexity leadership considers behaviors that individuals engage in and their impact on the organization systems (Mary & Russ 2009).
Uhl-Bien, M & Russ, M 2009, ‘Complexity leadership in bureaucratic forms of organizing’
The Leadership Quarterly Journal, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 56-68.
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