Adaptive and Complexity Leadership: Stronger Together


Leadership, Management & Business

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Adaptive and complexity leadership are two leadership approaches that refute the centuries-old devotion to mechanistic thinking and single-hero leadership. The chapter explores the similarities and differences between the two approaches and outlines how they can work together in six areas: managing loss, improving the application of simple rules, enhancing trust, providing a holding environment so that diversity can be approached as an adaptive challenge, keeping stress in a tolerable range when an organization is operating at the edge of chaos, and enhancing learning in adaptive space.


Published as a chapter of Rasmussen, H.T. (2021). Adaptive Leadership in a Global Economy: Perspectives for Application and Scholarship (M. Raei, Ed.) (1st ed.). Routledge.