The evolution of organizations and leadership from the ancient world to modernity: A multilevel approach to organizational science and leadership (OSL)

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The evolution of organizations and leadership from the ancient world to modernity: A multilevel approach to organizational science and leadership (OSL)
The Leadership Quarterly

The purpose of this paper is to offer an initial theory timeline and taxonomy for discussing and researching the evolution of types of organizations and the concomitant context they provide for leadership. Specifically leadership roles in the ancient world and modernity are contrasted and found to be almost diametrically opposed. To arrive at this conclusion this work draws upon current extensions of evolutionary theory from biology and psychology to organizational studies and leadership (Yammarino & Dansereau 2011). This framework is then contrasted with Kellerman (2012) who calls for an end to leadership studies. The question this paper attempts to address is: from a multi-level perspective how have evolutionary changes in the types of commercial organizational structures led to differing dominant leadership styles? Without having to call for an end to leadership studies an understanding of ancient forms of organization can lend insight into a number of contemporary business and geopolitical conflicts where tribalism is a factor.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly 23 (2012) 1134 – 1151

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