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    Leadership in the New Millennium

    The notion of contextual leadership is fairly new and began to emerge at the beginning of the new millennium. Osborn and colleagues (2002), for example, have pointed out that most leadership theories to date have neglected context as an important determinant of effective leadership. They argue that "leadership is socially constructed in and from a context where patterns over time must be considered and history matters. Leadership is not only the incremental influence of a boss towards subordinates, but most important it is the collective incremental influence of leaders in and around the system" (p.797). Accordingly, they call for a theoretical approach to contextual leadership that stability, crisis, dynamic equilibrium, and edge of chaos into account, which define context of successful leadership (R. N. Osborn, et al., 2002).

    The kernel of contextual leadership in leadership theory began to emerge as early as the 1970s. At the time, notions of context were denoted by labels such as "macro" or "systems" approaches that tried to create a theoretical framework that would take environment, system (economic as well as political), and technology of organizations into account. Some examples of these early theoretical attempts at contextual leadership theory are the works of Khandwalla (1977), Melcher (1976), and Osborn, Hunt and Jauch (1980). These texts tried to approach the question of context mainly in terms of bureaucracy and defined effective leaderships in terms of its ability to adequately and consistently address the questions posed by bureaucratic contexts.

    However, despite these early attempts to understand and theorize leadership in terms of contexts, these theories suffered from a number of omissions and had not yet defined context as an all-encompassing and defining moment of effective leadership. Moreover, House and Aditya (1997) have pointed out that most leadership theories have cultural ...

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    Leadership in the New Millennium. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:41, May 22, 2024, from