Much of our writing and dialogue as leadership scholars consists of exchanges about "good" leadership -- what leadership ought to be as opposed to what it really is, as Barbara Kellerman so accurately observes. Although I strongly believe that leadership scholars should do both, I intend to provide a normative perspective for organization leadership in the context of turbulent environments. The new era in which organizations must function is characterized by factors such as intense global concern and competition; intraorganizational relationships and collaboration; a focus on democracy, substantive justice, civic virtues, and the common good; values orientation; empowerment and trust; consensus-oriented policy-making processes; diversity and pluralism in structures and participation; critical dialogue, qualitative language, and methodologies; collectivized rewards; and market alignments (Bennis & Slater, 1968; Emery & Trist, 1973; Toffler, 1980; Clegg, 1990; Rost, 1991; Kuhnert, 1993).
Copyright (c) 1998 SAGE Publications. This book chapter first appeared in Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era.
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Hickman, Gil Robinson. "Leadership and the Social Imperative of Organizations in the 21st Century." In Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era, edited by Gill Robinson Hickman, Thousand Oaks,CA: SAGE Publications, 1998.