Then, explain the benefits and challenges of leading using complexity theory.


Leading knowledge-based companies is different from leading industrial-based companies (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2008). The authors noted “complexity leadership theory, a leadership paradigm that focuses on enabling the learning, creative, and adaptive capacity of complex adaptive systems (CAS) within a context of knowledge producing organizations” (pp. 185–186). The perspective from knowledge-based organizations is different from the industrial paradigm as complexity leadership is concerned with organizational outcomes. These outcomes, are learning, innovation, and adaptation, while industrial-based organizations are more focused on outcomes that provide physical production of products or services.

To prepare for this Discussion review the resources.


Post an explanation of how you might lead or manage using complexity theory in an era of accelerating change and increasing competition. Then, explain the benefits and challenges of leading using complexity theory.




Allenby, B., & Fink, J. (2005). Toward inherently secure and resilient societiesScience, 309(5737), 1034–1036.

Toward Inherently Secure and Resilient Societies by Allenby, B.; Fink, J., in Science, Vol. 309/Issue 5737. Copyright 2005 by American Assn. for the Advancement of Science. Reprinted by permission of American Assn. for the Advancement of Science via the Copyright Clearance Center.


Reeves, M., & Deimler, M. (2011). Adaptability: The new competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, 89(7–8), 135–141.


Uhl-Bien, M., & Marion, R. (Eds.). (2008). Complexity leadership, part 1: Conceptual foundations. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Chapter 8, “Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting Leadership from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Era” (pp. 185–224)


World Economic Forum. (2013). Global risks 2013: Eighth edition. Retrieved from

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