Complex organisations, leadership vs management, global forces, competing tensions
Global mega-trends are leading to increasing levels of complexity, dynamism andturbulence within organisations. In an uncertain economy, organisations need real strategies that will enable them to thrive. Traditional leadership approaches have been rendered insufficient by rapid changes in the knowledge economy. The leadership literature has typically conceptualised the construct in terms of leader style and behaviour and, leader-follower relations. But findings from this stream are far from convergent and cogent. The purpose of this article is to create a theory-based integrative framework that can be used to identify the components comprising management and leadership. It re-examines the link among the self, others and the organisation and, how leadership should be conceptualised in the increasingly global contemporary context. Specifically, we apply the dichotomy of management versus leadership to theorise that it is not simply a matter of individual differences in competencies, skills and attitudes that ensure the development of creative and talented leaders. Rather, it is about how praxis, practice and the practioner offer both a challenge and transformation lens to observe the ways that global leadership is bounded and constrained by organisational and managerial conventions. In essence, this work suggest that leaders and managers need to apply systemic thinking competencies to catalyse organisational performance in the current fast-changing, knowledge-driven global business landscape in order to remain competitive.
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