Emerging Leadership Strategies for Complex Times

  • Gaynell VandersliceEmail author
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


This article will provide a brief introduction of emerging twenty-first century leadership theories based on various literature reviews. Earlier, industrial era, leadership theories are centered on the perspective of a single heroic leader who provides vision and guidance on behalf of the masses. These theories leverage a command-and-control leadership style to optimize productivity and increase organizational sustainability. However, with the onset of rapidly changing economic conditions, unpredictable financial markets and the short fall of Red Ocean and Blue Ocean strategies, the single heroic leader phenomenon has failed to optimize knowledge—the largest human capital investment. Several researchers have stated that the value of knowledge is in its capacity to generate innovative products and service and thereby create competitive advantages for the firm. Thereby, leadership strategies that encourage knowledge sharing through social interaction may enhance organizational sustainability. Several scholars have argued that it is this social dimension of knowledge sharing that calls for new leadership strategies. The article highlights several knowledge era leadership theories.


Leadership Complexity leadership theory Relational leadership theory Distributed leadership Shared leadership Knowledge era 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ManagementAlliant UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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