Preprint Concept Paper Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

From the Cottage to the Cage – Exploring the Efficacy of Complexity Leadership Theory in Addressing 21st Century Workplace Toxicity.

Version 1 : Received: 28 February 2021 / Approved: 2 March 2021 / Online: 2 March 2021 (09:22:29 CET)

How to cite: Danaher, M. From the Cottage to the Cage – Exploring the Efficacy of Complexity Leadership Theory in Addressing 21st Century Workplace Toxicity.. Preprints 2021, 2021030052 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0052.v1). Danaher, M. From the Cottage to the Cage – Exploring the Efficacy of Complexity Leadership Theory in Addressing 21st Century Workplace Toxicity.. Preprints 2021, 2021030052 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0052.v1).

Abstract

The issue of workplace toxicity constitutes a major problem for employers, employees and society at large. Toxicity in a workplace context relates to damaging behaviours perpetrated by individuals and organisations that netatively impact on the health and wellbeing of others. Workplace toxicty is habitually associated with activities such as bullying, harrassment, unethical and even illegal acts. In this article, today’s workplace is likenened to a cage where ambition and greed drive people to engage in toxic behaviour to fight for whatever scarce rewards are on offer. Set against a backdrop of continuous demands on employees in a era of constant change and challenge, leadership practice in the 21st century is understandably seeped in complexity. Whilst conditions of scarcity are in fact constructed by employers in today’s lean environments, workplace toxicity has significant implications for organisational leaders in terms of work place disputes, absenteeism and litigation etc. Twentieth century hierarchial and autocratic leadership models are now deemed to be both obsolete and wholly inadedgate to inform leadership practice in the knowledge era. This conceptual article looks at the efficacy of complexity leadership theory (CLT) in empowering today’s leader to better understand and address 21st century workplace toxicity.

Subject Areas

workplace, toxicity, leadership, distributive bargaining, zero sum gain, Uhl Bien, complex adaptive systems, complexity leadership theory.

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