Tensions between Teams and Their Leaders

J. David Johnson

Abstract


The intersection of teamwork and leadership results in tensions, dilemmas, and paradoxes for both individuals and for institutions such as simultaneously empowering individuals at the same time it frustrates them when our naive, cultural understanding of leadership centralizes power and values leaders who can impose their will and vision on others. Perhaps the fundamental paradox of teamwork and leadership is that the more leadership is focused on an individual the less likely a team’s potential will be realized. Six specific domains where tensions arise are: at team boundaries; culture; who is in charge, rationality/cognition; diversity; and collaborations. Three approaches - clarifying different levels of analysis, temporal factors, and overarching concepts - to resolving tensions are discussed. New conceptions of leadership and the importance of the larger cultural frame within which they are embedded are needed for the management of technology and innovation.

Keywords


paradox;teams;leadership

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242016000300014



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