Leadership in the 21st Century
Faculty Response (18 December 2008)
Our conceptions of leadership are often shaped by the zeitgeist of our times. Leadership in the 20th century was largely defined in the context of the large, hierarchical, industrial organization (companies like GM). How will our conception of leadership evolve in the 21st century?
Is there a moral component to leadership? How do you restore hope (appeal to values)?
Leaders (in business and government) have lost the public trust. It was already low before the recent economic crisis and has now plummeted even further. What has caused this loss in trust and how can it be best restored?
Different academic disciplines focus on different facets of leadership. Is it useful to aim for an integrated coherent view of leadership or are we better off with a wide plurality of perspectives? Indeed, is the popular literature on leadership in some ways better or more useful than academic studies of leadership?
The Conversation is question- or topic-based dialogue between two conversation leads and our Centennial- site visitors. Every month or so, our conversation leads will pose a question to you, our visitors, to get your thoughts on specific issues in the world of business. The Conversation invites you to join the dialogue, and selections from these responses are made available online.
Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration
Senior Associate Dean, Director of Faculty Development
Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development
HBS Working Knowledge, an online forum featuring new work from HBS faculty, offers more from Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana and articles about leadership & management. And, if you like The Conversation, you may also enjoy What Do YOU Think?, an ongoing dialogue between Harvard Business School professor Jim Heskett and the readers of HBS Working Knowledge.