Title: Conceptualising the essential qualities of complex adaptive leadership: networks that organise

Authors: Eugene G. Kowch

Addresses: Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N INZ, Canada

Abstract: Complex adaptive organisations are represented in many ways. Complex adaptive organisations depend on the interaction of members exchanging information and resources shared influence. Leading is enacted by people with generative and unifying capabilities (Hazy, 2011). Complex organisations manifest networked patterns of interaction between leaders who can span traditional organisation and environment boundaries. Knowing leader networks as incompressible structures in nested eco-systems seems a concept well-suited for conceptualising organisations of leaders where small changes by one leader can impact the entire system. By way of presenting organisation study findings from a recent network analysis of large scale state-wide shared service in a new light in this paper, this author explicates the essential qualities of complex adaptive emergent leadership networks to suggest new ways for conceptualising truly complex leadership in contemporary organisations by engaging the principles of network theory and complexity.

Keywords: complexity; systems thinking; systemic change; associational networks; network analysis; network capacity; network capability; generative leadership; complex systems; adaptive systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCLM.2013.057549

International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2013 Vol.2 No.3, pp.162 - 184

Published online: 02 Jul 2014 *

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