Leadership and Complexity

Vol II: Empirical Evidence and Practical Applications

Edited by:
Mary Uhl-Bien, University of Nebraska
Russ Marion, Clemson University
Raymond A. Noe, Ohio State University

A volume in the series: Leadership Horizons. Editor(s): Michelle C. Bligh, Claremont Graduate University. Melissa Carsten, Winthrop University.

Recent advances in complex systems theory and in its application to
leadership studies have shown great promise in furthering the
practical and theoretical understanding of leadership processes in
organizations. Today this work has been theoretical and has thus far
eluded rigorous empirical study. In this book we challenge
researchers to take complexity leadership theories into the field and
gather empirical evidence that will either support or refute these

In this book we will use empirical research to address questions such
as: “What is meant by “leadership” in the context of complex
systems? How are complex system dynamics related to creativity,
innovation and learning? What are the implications of emergence and
adaptive tension for leadership? What is the meaning of hierarchy in
complex systems? How are traditional top-down, leader-led programs
and emergent bottom-up processes coordinated in complex adaptive
systems? How do leadership processes unfold in task groups versus
innovation teams over time? How can dynamic leadership processes
be studied? Can scholarship in the leadership arena inform research in
the complexity sciences?

Research will represent qualitative, quantitative and computational
methods as well as approaches that represent a hybrid of two or more
empirical methods. The volume will also include descriptions of
practical applications of complex systems leadership theory that build
a basis for the field in praxis.