In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Charismatic and Innovative Team Leadership By and For Millennials

  • Introduction
  • Research-Based Theories about the Context of 21st Century Management
  • Undergraduate Textbooks

Management Charismatic and Innovative Team Leadership By and For Millennials
George Graen, Julio Canedo
  • LAST REVIEWED: 14 December 2022
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 July 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0127


This annotative bibliography is designed to bring the professor and student up to date on the research-based theories regarding “leadership.” We did this by reviewing the latest and most relevant research in management on leadership. This article is organized by (1) illustrating the two main designs of the 20th and 21st centuries and ways to transition; (2) introducing two schools of design thinking; (3) describing the convoy of processes from the initial attraction to early hiring experience, organizing experiences ending in retention; gosh, (4) hypothesizing identifying moderating or mediating workplace factors; and (5) citing recent global problems requiring leadership research. Setting the intellectual workbench for the latest views of the field of leadership within the research field of organizational behavior (OB), section 1 describes the two dominant forms of company purpose that provide the context for the force of interpersonal influence called “workplace leadership” (WL) (see Oxford Handbook of Leadership (Bauer and Erdogan 2015), cited under Handbooks and Edited Collections). These two basic designs for work organizations differ in terms of what they expect of employees. The one labeled “lean” hires people to perform as components of machine systems (see Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way, cited under Employees as Machine Components). A newer one, labeled “innovative,” hires people to perform as creators of new products and services (see Research Report on Managerial Leadership Needs, Steiber 2011, cited under Employees as Innovators). Next, leadership research is presented on the process of transitioning (“How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management,” cited under Transitioning from Old to New). Section 2 describes two different approaches being employed to understand the innovative design for organizations. One is “design thinking” and views the entire leadership design and practice with its various levels of analysis and dynamics over critical incidents (see What Millennials Want from Work: How to Maximize Engagement in Today’s Workforce, cited under Design Thinking). The second is “complexity thinking” and attempts to research events of leadership as they emerge within the context of the ongoing organization (see “Towards Operationalizing Complexity Leadership: How Generative, Administrative and Community-Building Leadership Practices Enact Organizational Outcomes,” cited under Complexity Thinking). Section 3 describes the convoy of processes that have been researched as the development of talent into efficient and effective teams producing innovators (see “New Talent Strategy: Attract, Process, Educate, Empower, Engage and Retain the Best,” Graen and Grace 2015, cited under Research-Based Theories about the Context of 21st Century Management). These processes theoretically are employed in the order presented. This model assumes that leadership knowledge and skills are learned by earing and completing a kind of leadership in teams apprentice\ship from professional peers over time and projects (the use of coaching principles to foster employee engagement). In sum, present research is a basis for hypothesizing a multistep development process that proceeds with some overlap of processes generally as follows: attract the best talent, provide early hired experiences, design teams initially, coach and mentor, learn from peers, empower using networks, focus on retaining the best, and making sense of performance and critical incidents (see “New Talent Strategy: Attract, Process, Educate, Empower, Engage and Retain the Best,” Graen and Grace 2015). Section 4 elaborates on the characteristics of an organization, which are related to leadership outcomes and are hypothesized based on research to influence the development of workplace leadership in teams. These characteristics of organizations have been found replicable and related to leadership through meta-analyses published in the leading journals. Research is required to identify and order the major contributors to the success of developing workplace leadership in teams. This is a fruitful area for student research. Section 5 describes three areas requiring more research to understand how a culture of workplace partnership may be developed across different nations, different distances, and different ideas of team performance.

Research-Based Theories about the Context of 21st Century Management

Based on an intensive and extensive review of the global trends, we find that the intimately human collaborative relationship between individuals called “leadership in organizations” may have a new birth of personal choice. Specifically, we find new and promising conditions for leadership to free itself from the confines of lean companies by a diminished economic need to influence people to act like components of socio-technical-economic systems. The new economic need of companies in the 21st century is to create innovations by arranging conditions for people to do what they do best. Fortunately, this appears to be facilitated by workplace leadership properly organizing workplace experiences for the new employees (Gruber, et al. 2015). Workplace leadership drives the organization from top to bottom, inside and outside, from conception to the end of its life cycle. It is based on what people do best, namely, organize themselves according to specialization and division of technical-social collaboration with direction and purpose. Leadership involves a sense of concern for the health of one’s company with its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This sense of proactive citizenship is hypothesized to be dynamic and create emotional attachments as teams work closely together and share the joy and pain of achievement, affiliation, and benevolence over time, space, and blizzards of threats and opportunities. Leadership is much more comprehensive than directing a successful project team with style and grace. It begins with the entrepreneur’s dreams of creating a new healthy company with a design to capture the interest of stakeholders. Once the design and resources are in place, a design for driving the company over its life cycle is implemented with the help of developed leadership-sharing partners. Leadership is hypothesized to be necessary for all companies and organizations due to the human habit of agreeing to collaborate fully on worthy enterprises that promise a worthwhile personal return. Engaging, empowering, and retaining the best people in these exchanges involves the leadership outcomes of attracting, hiring, organizing, and mentoring properly throughout the company. When improperly done, this is a failure of leadership in organizations. To date, we have faced leadership in a static, structured, hierarchical, and even bureaucratic manner. We have learned a lot from the traits, behavioral, situational, power, and other approaches to leadership (Riggio and Ono 2013). However, these approaches will not fit the Millennials’ functioning and will conflict with their views of organizational life (Graen and Grace 2015). The study of leadership seems to need an organic, life cycle approach. We need to look at the whole picture of individuals’ organizational life. Every part is necessary and all parts are interconnected. When some leadership outcomes go negative, tension is produced that may have negative consequences. The levels for analysis of leadership of companies are (1) the macro-level, which includes the design, purpose, strategies, and practices of the executive team as communicated to the (2) mid-levels of networks and teams, and (3) the microlevel individuals and stakeholders. For example, the macro-level leadership outcomes of company culture, corporate social responsibility, company scandal, and best place to work all may contribute to the mid-level attraction of the best leadership applicants and the retaining of the best contributors. These macro variables may also have secondary influence on the hiring and organizing of the best. Competitors understand that they must struggle to attract and retain their share of the best. At a middle level, the leadership outcomes of attraction, hiring experiences, and organizing contribute to the health of the company. Leadership is responsible for all aspects of developing and running the company (Kline, et al. 1994). Thus, workplace leadership development is the 21st-century challenge faced by leadership schools, departments, programs, and courses sequences. In sum, the workplace experience is hypothesized to be driven by the workplace leadership. Note: George Graen and Julio Canedo acknowledge and thank Joan Graen for shepherding on this project; Gail Fairhurst, Miriam Grace, Deborah Rupp, Terri Scandura, Talya Bauer, Bianca Beersma, and Diana Stone for their suggestions; Ricky Griffin, as series editor; and Adam Frese representing Oxford University Press. This work product is dedicated to progress imbedding the best of designing and operating 21st century organization.

  • Graen, G. B., and M. Grace. “New Talent Strategy: Attract, Process, Educate, Empower, Engage and Retain the Best.” SHRM-SIOP White Paper. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management, 2015.

    An analysis of the reality organizations are experiencing with the Millennial workforce and a proposal to attract, process, educate, empower, engage, and retain the best of this generation.

  • Gruber, M., N. deLeon, G. George, and P. Thompson. “Managing by Design.” Academy of Management Journal 58 (2015): 1–7.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2015.4001

    Discussion of design thinking and its potential integration to the “workplace experience” (WX) as a means of shaping organizational practices to the needs of 21st-century Millennials.

  • Kline, K. J., F. Dansereau, and R. J. Hall. “Level Issues in Theory Development, Data Collection and Analysis.” Academy of Management Review 19.4 (1994): 636–640.

    Review of methodological issues created by three different types of levels of analysis.

  • Riggio, R. E., and M. Ono. “Leadership.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Management. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

    A summary of leadership approaches: traits, behavioral, situational and contingency, charismatic, transformational, relational, implicit, teams, ethical, authentic, dark side, followership, gender, culture, and multidisciplinary.

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