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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Re-conceptualizing leadership for complex social systems

Nanette Blandin
The Nexus Institute and The George Washington University

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     Last modified: March 4, 2006

The research question that was the focus of my doctoral dissertation is "What is the nature of leadership in a complex adaptive system?". It is my view that such leadership differs fundamentally from leadership models presented in traditional management theory which are based on certainty, linearity and mechanical systems. My research involved a qualitative case study in a nonprofit arts organization which met the criteria of a complex adaptive system. Through extensive interviews and fieldwork, I have developed new perspectives on the nature of leadership in complex systems and the competencies required for effective leadership. I would like to present the findings of my research as a conference paper and generate a conversation with others about their implications and future areas for inquiry.

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