Adaptive Leader That Are Related Term Paper

Pages: 11 (3136 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

¶ … adaptive leader that are related to the management of change and to further evaluate how those factors impact followers in implementing change. The work of DeGenring (2005) entitled: "The Adaptive Leader: Risky Business? Staying Alive as a Leader in Times of Change" states: "The question is no longer, 'How to manage change?' The question now is, 'How to lead adaptive change?' We live in extraordinary times in the arc of our social, political, and economic development." While the changes occurring globally are perhaps exciting those same changes are calling upon leadership and demanding new ways to deal with new and emerging challenges requiring innovation in leadership. Traditional practices may no longer be successful and the historical leadership methods may not be sufficient for leading today's workers in the global workforce. Today's workforce is diverse characterized by differential learning levels and various experiential backgrounds.


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The adaptive leader is one who is able to base the role of management and leadership in an accommodating or adaptive manner. This claim relies upon the theoretical framework as stated by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 at the University of Chicago in a study in which psychologists formulated a method of classifying intellectual behaviors that are important in the area of learning or 'levels' of intellectual capacity. Identified within the cognitive domain by Bloom and his colleagues are the six levels and the accompanying descriptions as follows: (1) Knowledge; (2) Understanding or comprehension; (3) Application; (4) Analysis; (5) Synthesis; and (6) Evaluation the classification as assigned by Bloom and his colleagues is illustrated in the following figure.

Bloom's Taxonomy (Intellectual Levels of Learning)

Source: Bloom (1956)

Bloom and his colleagues went further to classify six categories of questions that are asked in the learning process including those as following:

TOPIC: Term Paper on Adaptive Leader That Are Related to the Assignment

1) Knowledge - remembering; memorizing; recognizing; recall of information; and Who, what, when, where, how... (Bloom, 1956)

2) Understanding or Comprehension - interpreting; translating from one medium to another; describing in one's own words; Retell...; and organization and selection of facts and ideas; (Bloom, 1956)

3) Application - problem solving; applying information to produce some result; use of facts, rules and principles; How example of...; How is...related to...; and Why is...significant? (Bloom, 1956)

4) Analysis - subdividing something to show how it is put together; finding the underlying structure of a communication; identifying motives; separation of a whole into component parts; What are the parts or features of...; Outline/diagram...; Classify...according to...; How with...; What evidence can you list for... (Bloom, 1956)

5) Synthesis - creating a unique, original product that may be in verbal form or physical object; combination of ideas to form a new whole; What would you predict/infer from...; What ideas can you add to...; How would you create/design a new...; What might happen if you combined...; What solutions would you suggest for... (Bloom, 1956)

6) Evaluation - making value decisions about issues; resolving controversies or differences of opinion; development of opinions, judgments or decisions; Do you agree...; Place the following in order of priority...; How would you decide about...; and What criteria would you use to assess... (Bloom, 1956)


To respond to the demands in today's work environment, organizations must have "the capacity to adapt - their approaches, their economic models, their thinking and their leadership. Adaptive leadership embraces the idea that the same old leadership approaches and the existing leadership toolkit are insufficient to solve the complex problems of today's business environment. Adaptive leaders acknowledge the proportionate relationship between risk and adaptive change: the more radical the change and the more new learning demanded, the more people resist the change. As a result, there is an increased danger to the leaders themselves." (DeGenring, 2005) it is necessary that new behaviors be modeled and the adaptive leader is able to do just this while embracing "learning and risk taking as fundamental competencies." (DeGenring, 2005) the Adaptive leader uses approaches to "foster these adaptive capacities" in their employees as follows: (1) Reframes the leader's job from that of problem-solver to that of developer of problem solvers, (2) Asks the important, tough questions while not having all the answers, (3) Fosters reflection and big-picture thinking, slowing down to move the action forward, and (4) Demonstrates and modeling courage. (DeGenring, 2005) the work of Charles Albano, (1999) founder of 'Adaptive Leadership' in 1993 states that 'Adaptive Leadership' is a "very active form of leadership, not a passive effort taken merely to adjust to circumstances as found." (1999) Adaptive systems are very different from mechanical systems or in other words, the organization is a living and adaptive system not a mechanical and rigid system. Albano states that the adaptive view of organizations and leadership "presents sharp contrasts along a number of dimensions listed in the figure as follows:

Comparing Mechanical (M) and Adaptive (a) Views

M) Attention is focused on activities.

A) Attention is focused on value-added outcomes.

M) Job descriptions are long, detailed and constraining.

A) Job descriptions are intentionally broad-based to allow for flexibility.

M) Role expectations are narrow and rigid.

A) Roles are fluid. Within limits, people are expected to substitute for one another.

M) Contacts are confined and communication is channeled by higher management.

A) Contacts are open and networks are encouraged to form.

M) Policies are mostly oriented toward control, what people can't do.

A) Policies encourage people to take a "can do" mindset to find solutions.

M) the organizational structure is bureaucratic and fragmented into many departments.

A) the structures are more fluid and of shorter duration. Changes in design are aimed at enhancing flexibility and responsiveness.

M) Authority is based on rank, and it is expected that influence will equate with formal authority.

A) Authority is accorded a place, but reliance on it is played down. Greater influence is accorded people who demonstrate ability to add value.

M) Efficiency and predictability are sought and reinforced.

A) Achievement, innovation and change are sought and rewarded.

M) Cooperation among departments is subject to a lot of formalization and clearances. Turf guarding prevails.

A) Cooperation is a highly regarded value in the organization and is far more easily gained.

M) Information is kept close hold.

A) Information is widely available to facilitate work accomplishment and permit more opportunities for more people to add value to operations.

M) Traditional values are fostered such as unit loyalty and obedience to the effect that they stifle initiative and hamper teamwork across departments.

A) Newer values such as cooperation, and responsiveness along with treating other units as internal "customers."

Source: Albano (1999)

Albano states that adaptive leadership reflects the actions of leaders who: (1) Think and act to exert strategic influence on their environments. They act to assure that their organizations are well positioned competitively; (2) Are proactive, foresee opportunities and put the resources in place to go after them; (3) Employ a broad-based style of leadership that enables them to be personally more flexible and adaptive; (4) Entertain diverse and divergent views when possible before making major decisions; (5) Can admit when they are wrong and alter or abandon a non-productive course of action; (6) Are astute students of their environments; (7)Can generate creative options for action; (8) Build their organization's capacities to learn, transform structure, change culture, and adapt technology; (9) Stay knowledgeable of what their stakeholders want; (10) Are willing to experiment, take risks; (11) Strive to improve their personal openness to new ideas and stay abreast by being lifelong learners; and (12) Love and encourage innovation from the ranks of their organizations.(Albano, 1999)the work of Major Donald E. Vandergriff (2006) entitled: "Adaptive Leaders Course (ALC) Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks" relates that adaptive leaders are those able to engage in "intuitive decision-making." The Adaptive Leader's Course (ALC) Model teaches cognitive skills through use of experiential education which involves "the exposure to new ideas, encouragement to experiment with ideas and then applying theories to problem solving, and then reflecting and reviewing on what happened using the learn-evaluate-access approach..." In which the Adaptive Leader's Course "sets the conditions where numerous observations of the student incur through mission scenarios, each under different conditions." (Vandergriff, 2006) This is the approach of leadership used by the U.S. Army and is based on an approach developed by Pestalozzi, a Swiss educator who developed 'Experiential Education' which is an approach that teaches Adaptive Leadership. In a separate work entitled: "Adaptive Work: The Challenge of Modern Leadership" Byrum (nd) writes that two types of work exist: (1) definitive work; and (2) adaptive work. Definitive work is "work that has clear and distinct outcomes, outcomes that are fairly obvious...focusing on clearly understood tasks, watching significant benchmarks and achieving basic results." Adaptive work however, "occurs when intent, vision, and goals are fairly clear, but how to accomplish those goals is anything but clear; starting points may even be a struggle to find." Byrum states that when "adaptive work" is at hand, "the highest order of leadership is required. Adaptive leaders are like the powerful… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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