A New Look at Old Leadership Questions
Chapter 7: How do Leaders Lead Change? Co-authored with Martin Wood and John Pillay
7. How do leaders lead change? Co-authored with Martin Wood1 and John Pillay2 Fundamentally, everything stands still – the thawing wind, however, preaches to the contrary! Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1884 , p. 201) For many leadership theorists, leadership and change are almost synonymous. The whole point of leadership, some authors suggest, is to influence individuals, organizations or communities to move from the ‘status quo’ into something different. This is often in an attempt to more closely align the organization with the changing environment in which it is situated. Many organizational change theories accord the leader great powers of persuasion, motivation and agency in ‘making’ change happen. A much more complex view of how leadership functions has been introduced throughout this book. Rather than being something that occurs through the agency of one individual; followers, context and the purpose to which effort is directed, all contribute to its occurrence. How might this more complex view inform our understanding of the role of leadership within change processes? What are the assumptions about change itself that underpin how we think it happens? What is change and how do we recognize when it has occurred? In order to explore this territory, this chapter draws from a branch of philosophy known as ‘process thinking’. Process thought problemitizes the idea of change itself. Rather than considering ‘stasis’ as the natural state of existence, it suggests that reality is continually in a state of flux, with innovations constantly arising and retreating. Process philosophy turns on its...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.