The role of leadership is a favorite theme among students of management, but most studies focus too narrowly on the individual “hero-leader,” according to these authors. They argue that leadership typically does not rest with a single individual, but is both pluralistic and fluid. This pluralism is in part a function of two very different leadership structures: the formal management hierarchy, and the informal networks that cross and operate within hierarchical lines. The intelligent manager understands that these two structures are complementary. The most successful decision making — and the most effective leadership — occurs when they are encourage to coexist.
1. J.M. Burns, Leadership (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), p.2.
2. B.M. Bass, Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research, rev. ed. (New York: The Free Press, 1981).
3. There are a few valiant efforts to break out of those constraints. See E.H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985);
M.W. McCall, Jr., and M.M. Lombardo, Leadership: Where Else Can We Go? (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1978).
4. Even the newer studies tend to be guilty of this assumption that leadership behavior goes most naturally with one person, usually in a formal position. Most studies pursue the single leader and multi-follower concept, though occasionally shifting from one perspective to another. In addition to Burns’s book noted above, see M. Maccoby, The Leader: A New Face for American Management (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981);
W. Bennis and B. Nanus, Leaders: The Strategies of Taking Charge (New York: Harper & Row, 1985).
5. A.P. Hare, Social Interaction as Drama (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1985).
6. The initial field work was done by the authors along with Doctors L. Wallace and J. Jaferian.
7. For a somewhat similar approach, see J.B. Quinn, Strategies for Change: Logical Incrementalism (Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, 1980);
D. Gladstein and J.B. Quinn, “A Commentary on Janis’ Sources of Error in Strategic Decision Making,” in Strategic Decision Making, ed. H. Hennings (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985).
8. J.A. Pearce II and F.R. David, “A Social Network Approach to Organizational Design Performance,” Academy of Management Review 8 (1983): 436–444.
9. A. Zaleznik, “Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?” Harvard Business Review, May–June 1977, pp. 67–78;
For more of the same, see N.M. Tichy and D.O. Ulrich, “The Leadership Challenge—A Call for the Transformational Leader,” Sloan Management Review, Fall 1984, pp. 59–68.
10. A. Zaleznik, “The Leadership Gap,” Washington Quarterly, Winter 1983, pp. 32–39.
11. G. Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 144–149.
12. G. Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (New York: Bantam Books, 1979).
13. Ibid., p. 33.
14. Renn Zaphiropoulos (Boston: Harvard Business School Case No. 480-044).
15. L.B. Barnes, “Managing the Paradox of Organizational Trust,” Harvard Business Review, March–April 1981, pp. 107–116.