"Barry and Hansen have gathered an impressive array of contributors to speculate where the management and organization field might be headed. The Handbook offers refreshing and proactive insights that confront our assumptions about organizations and challenge us to expand our thinking and inquiry. It it must reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we look at, live in, and act on organizations."—Thomas G. Cummings, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern CaliforniaTen years ago critical theory and postmodernism were considered new and emerging theories in Business and Management. What will be the next new important theories to shape the field? In one edited volume, David Barry and Hans Hansen have commissioned new chapters that will allow readers to stay one step ahead of the latest thinking. Contributors draw on research and practice to introduce ideas that are considered 'fringe' and controversial today, but may be key theoretical contributions tomorrow. Each chapter sets these ideas in their historical context, lays out the key theoretical positions taken by each new approach and makes it clear why these approaches are different to more mainstream concepts. Throughout contributors refer to existing studies that show how these developing themes will change the Business and Management arena.Researchers, teachers and advanced students who are interested in the future of Business and Management scholarship will want to read this Handbook.
Chapter 81: Why Leaders Fail
Why Leaders Fail
Why do leaders fail? Traditional theories of leadership might tend to view them as failing because of their not having the personality traits associated with successful leadership, or because of behavioral failures, or because of their lacking transformational vision (see summary of theories in Antonakis et al., 2004). I would argue, however, that virtually all leaders who fail do so because they commit a set of cognitive fallacies that eventually does them in (Sternberg, 2003). Failure is not the opposite of success. It is of a different nature altogether.
There are six cognitive fallacies failed leaders commit. They illustrate well how the leaders of companies such as Enron, Worldcom, Arthur Andersen, etc., brought down their organizations.
- Unrealistic optimism. The leaders come to ...