Ensemble Leadership – S19.2

In a 2018 article in the journal Leadership (Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 307-328), Grace Ann Rosile and her collaborators present a new theory of leadership that they call ensemble leadership. Combining insights from relational leadership theories and indigenous ways-of-knowing, the authors characterize ensemble leadership as collectivist, dynamic, decentered, and heterarchic.

Collectivist implies that the good of the group is more important than the good of the individual. In fact, the distinction between individual and group interests, as if these two are in opposition to one another, is viewed as a false dichotomy. Individuals come to see their own well-being as a function of collective well-being.

A dynamic perspective is one that views the world in a constant state of movement and change. The authors point out that this approach is natural to most indigenous cultures, as witnessed by the fact that tribal languages tend to have a far greater number of verbs than nouns. This perspective is particularly evident in the construction and relating of indigenous stories, which display a more cyclical nature, respecting context and changing circumstance, as opposed to the predominantly Western-culture bias, inherited from Aristotle, that stories must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The authors explain the notion of decentered by referring to the botanical phenomenon of rhizomatic propagation, whereby certain plant species spread runners underground in various directions, leading to new plants popping up in seemingly random locations, so that eventually the idea of a central plant becomes meaningless. What exists instead is a complex web of interconnected plants that for all intents and purposes now simply compose one plant.

The notion of heterarchy is borrowed from developments in post-structuralist anthropology. What it implies is that rather than trying to idently one dominant hierarchical structure within a community or organization, it is possible for different hierarchical configurations to manifest themselves from time to time, depending on the circumstances, and it is equally as likely that hierarchical structures can be set aside altogether so that a more egalitarian structure can emerge.

One remarkable feature of ensemble leadership theory is the idea that non-human living things like animals and plants, as well as inanimate objects like rocks and wind, can have agency. They can act upon the group and each other, thereby contributing to the way meaning is constructed. The events become woven into the story at a level that goes beyond the mere recounting of human response to those events. By treating the objects and events as active characters within the narrative, a more holistic view of what is taking place can be constructed.

The theory of ensemble leadership raises a number of interesting questions. What impact could these ideas have on the way communities approach economic development projects? Would this approach to leadership be possible within the context of for-profit organizations? Are there organizations or communities that actually operate in a way that recognizes the agency of inanimate objects or events? Any thoughts? Any other implications or concerns that come to mind?

About Robert A. Campbell, PhD

Robert A. Campbell, PhD, teaches courses in change management, leadership, and organizational behavior, as part of the MBA program in community economic development, for the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University.
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52 Responses to Ensemble Leadership – S19.2

  1. kun liang says:

    I believe that ensemble leadership is an excellent management style to lead a company even a community, the birth of a well-develop community cannot without a good team of leaders. Ensemble leadership can make decisions more comprehensive and accurate. Communities need to become more ensemble-like and to be able to improvise. The community that utilizes an ensemble model can make the changes in time in order to catch the world trend, in the meantime, ensemble leadership can be regarded as the guarantee for community economic development. Be similar to the community, the ensemble is also an essential word in a company, it is a good way to manage a company and a good method to help a company survive in the market constantly. In my view, collectivism is better than individualism, a team can come up with more considerations and suggests than one person. Therefore, I trust ensemble leadership is a good way to lead a company and a community, it is also a key element to stimulate the development of a company and a community.

    • Yiming Yan says:

      Of course, your opinions must be great, but in my thinking, I think that individual implies is also important for any organizations. For example, as a manager in a company, I should consider initially what profits or needs my employer want to get because my employer could produce a huge profit for my company when their demands are satisfied already. I am not refusing the opinions from you, I just give any pieces of advice that individual implies should be the first one we have to deal with firstly. In many words, I agree that what you command below this post.

    • FANGZHOU SONG says:

      In fact, I partly agree with your point of view. the notion of ensemble leadership actually is a good method to help make strategies for individual, company and community. it will contribute to the development of community and company, however it is not the final purpose. The mission of CED is for sustainable development in which leadership serves. besides, sustainable people with ensemble leadership is the key point. Ensemble leadership brings more comprehensive perspectives to observe this world we live. it encourages people to stand higher and longer position to see and consider what should we do next, and how to recognize our constructions.

    • Michelle (XUE MI) says:

      I agree with that ensemble leadership is an excellent management style to lead a company even a community. Collectivism is better than individualism. But collectivism is very easy to say hard to do, also ensemble leadership. All the people have their own opinion, style, and method,so ensemble leadership is hard to unit people’s thought.

      • THUAN TRAN says:

        In my opinions, both collectivism and individualism are great, however, we need to look at the environment of collectivism and individualism perform then we could say which collectivism or individualism is the best. In North America, like the USA, they refer to the individualism in their society. America needs one person can stand up and does what people want and expect, and that person becomes a hero. What I mean is we need a person is “special one” to do what the rest won’t do. Honestly, I need a great individualism more than collectivism to make thing done.

  2. Yiming Yan says:

    I have some opinions after I read this post, this post introduces a new theory that is named ensemble leadership, which emphasizes that collectivist implies that the good of the group is more important than the good of the individual. Of course, ensemble leadership must have many positive impacts on communities economic development. For individual implies, it is should comply with the collectivist implies rules, when there is a conflict between collectivist implies and individual implies, we should put the collectivist implies as an initial task, that is why we always take the big picture into consideration. Of course, this way is also working in for-profit organizations process. Individual implies also are reflected in collectivist implies, we should achieve the collectivist implies before attending the individual implies. In my opinions, for communities economic development, we should build strong organizations firstly, that is significant for us to build wonderful communities, that is why we should take organization behavior and leadership courses before we start learning knowledge about governance and social leadership. At last but not least, I support this ensemble leadership theory, it must be used in any communities widely in the future.

    • kun liang says:

      The opinion posted by you is positive, and I also agree with what you think about the blog posted by Robert. Compare with individualism, collectivism is more important in a company or an organization even a community. Once, individualism conflict with collectivism, there is no doubt that collectivism should be put in the first place to consider. Ensemble leadership should be utilized widely in the world, it can stimulate the development of a company, an organization, and a community, this tyle of management seems like a catalyzer in the progress of development, companies, organizations, and communities should make good use of this model and develop themselves, this is a good way to make them become stronger.

    • GUOREN ZHANG says:

      I agree with your opinion that ensemble leadership focus more on the group profit. For the collectivist aspect, we should build a completed organization when we are dealing with community economic development. People in their position should do their particular job and obey their leader’s rules. Collectivism are more important than individualism in modern economic environment because people make money together.

  3. Liisa Haapakoski says:

    Considering for-profit organizations I think that ensemble leadership, or something similar is taking place all the time. At least according to my experience, leadership and responsibility is being divided into smaller pieces and in that way people are involved in the organizations daily processes. When certain level decisions can be made right away without piling them up on the leaders table, the organization will achieve more flexibility, better commitment by employees, positive culture and success in business.

    Groups good over individuals good in an organization is an idea that should be collectively attained by leadership means. It is true that when the organization is thriving, the organization can provide it´s workers the best. If the organization is thriving and is not sharing the success with the workers, it might find it hard to engage the employees. When the worker knows that from good performance and from companies financially good outcome, she/he will be rewarded, then it is easier for everyone to reach the same goal together and get the best results. For making this work good leadership practices, good processes, friendly atmosphere, clear strategy and targets are needed.

    • Lanlan Wang says:

      Your point is very reasonable. In practice, Ensemble leadership is needed everywhere, but not everyone can perform it well. The subdivision of work makes everyone have a different division of labour, but also mutual influence, which requires the Ensemble leadership to achieve the function of unity and coordination, to complete the work objectives. In addition to the rational division of labour, sharing results is also a good means of coordination. The rational use of Ensemble leadership can, to some extent, improve organizational efficiency and create a good working atmosphere.

  4. Haitong says:

    In my opinion, ensemble leadership can be well applied in a non-profit organization and social enterprise, but maybe not suitable in a for-profit organization. Ensemble leadership have positive for community economic development because a community as a whole to operation instead of the success of someone in the community to measure the success of the community. In dynamic, CED emphasizes reasonable use resource in the community, and resource always has value rather than they have value when they are made into commodities. Non-profit organization and social enterprise goals are not for profit; their goal is to undertake some social responsibility that the government does not care part, so collectivist and heterarchy can be used to manage a non-profit organization and social enterprise. But in a for-profit organization, I think heterarchy maybe not correctly apply it. The reason is for-profit organization first goal is profit, include individual profit and corporate profit, so it needs a strict management model to make sure each department and individual have a task. So I think the for-profit organization needs a dominant hierarchical structure.

    • Liisa Haapakoski says:

      Thank you for your comment, great that someone has the guts to disagree!

      Heterarchy vs. hierarchy in for-profit organization might at least partially be a culture bound issue. In Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway) and I believe that in many other western countries heterarchy can create good results. I do not mean that there should not be any kind of leadership structure, of course leaders will be needed also in the future, but when more freedom and responsibility is shared wider in the organization the people will find their work more rewarding and they will engage in their organizations. And not only the workers benefit: when workers are happy and organization gets more agile the organization will accomplish more (development, profit, longer employment relationships). There will for sure be job descriptions and leadership present, only the leadership is different; this kind of leadership is focused on coaching the team members in taking more responsibility and growing in their own career path. I believe this kind of approach could be used more in the future. At least in Nordics it is extremely costly to recruit new white collar experts (blue collar workers of course not as expensive), this is the reason why we think about the length of the employment relationship much and try to find new careers in same company for good employees if they want change in their careers.

      What do you think, Haitong, could this kind of approach be used in China in future? If not, it would be interesting to hear why not.

    • Shelley Robinson says:

      Interesting! I think Liisa could be said to be taking a critical-realist approach, where despite the apparent hierarchy of a for-profit organization, in practice there is a more collectivist approach to getting work done. In doing this, she limits the conception of who is in the collective to the managers, not the owner/shareholders.

      Instead, Haitong seems to be including owner/shareholders in the organizational analysis by speaking to how the ultimate goal of a for-profit, making money for individual shareholders, fundamentally conflicts with the collectivity of ensemble leadership.

      I think I can see both sides? I agree with Haitong that given that a for-profit is ultimately a tool for individuals to make money, an ensemble leadership model is probably not a great fit for an organization as a whole. But Liisa’s argument that it can be successfully used within an organization’s management is also compelling. Of course this doesn’t address the principal-agent problem of how individual owners may work to influence managers in a way that makes ensemble leadership unworkable.

      And since I bring everything back to social enterprises, which blend the mission of a not-for-profit with the revenue-generation of a for-profit: I’m stumped in that regard!

  5. Lanlan Wang says:

    I think Ensemble Leadership can help community developers build membership relationships and improve the effectiveness of development.
    Community economic development is a process in which all members participate in to achieve sustainable economic and environmental development. In any community activity, everyone is included, which requires community developers to follow the principle of collective decision making when making development decisions. Also, Development itself is a dynamic process, which requires developers to provide guidance for development decisions in the next stage by analyzing development results in different periods. Finally, In the process of development, People, economy and environment are interacted by each other forming an organic circle. Only focus on one aspect, serious problems will be caused by other aspects. So, ensemble leadership allows community developers to view development goals in a comprehensive way and achieve harmonious development of the community in a democratic way.

    • Zhanxin Guo says:

      The article discusses a new theory of leadership that they ensemble leadership. It emphasizes that collectivism means the good of the group is more important than the good of the individual. You mentioned ensemble leadership can help community developers build membership relationships and improve the effectiveness of development. I agree with this view because community economic development is achieved by the participation of all members. Therefore, community members should give priority to maximizing collective interests when making decisions. Ensemble leadership Let leaders understand that the good of the group is more important than the good of the individual.

  6. Zhanxin Guo says:

    The article discusses a new theory of leadership that they ensemble leadership. It emphasizes that collectivism means that the interests of the team are more important than the interests of the individual. I think ensemble leadership can help economic development. Because the economic development of a community is a process in which community members and leaders participate. So that is good of the group is more important than the good of the individual. When there is a conflict between the group and the individual, the group is the primary task. That is why the leader always considers the whole situation. Also, in for-profit organizations, ensemble leadership can help the collective maximize benefits. The economic development of the community is based on a strong collective force. Enensestone leadership gives community developers a more complete understanding of community development. Guide the community members to understand ensemble leadership, and the entire region’s actors will give priority to the collective interests and carry out regional economic development.

    • GE YANG says:

      Almost all organizations have the characteristics of ensemble leadership. Schools, governments, businesses and communities all aim at collectivist interests. Every organization in the community serves the community, and members of each organization serve the organization. The healthy development of community cannot be separated from ensemble leadership. At the same time, I think ensemble leadership is very cost-saving, because there are too many different needs of individualism, collectivism is easier to manage, easy to manage makes the community save management costs, the value saved can be used to create more value.

    • Yuheng Li says:

      I agree with your opinion. Leaders in ensemble leadership companies often face challenging conversations and have more opportunities to provide feedback to senior leaders. They are more inclined to create opportunities for the development and progress of all. People in the ensemble leadership culture are more secure when faced with difficulties because they are a group. Psychological safety is one of the important signs that people can work together. Because people can admit mistakes, ask questions, or provide new ideas without fear.

  7. Sarvjeet kaur says:

    In terms of CED, Ensemble leadership would be a required form of leadership as it would look on the collective interests of the society as a whole. Only a community understand what are their requirements, when on individual is trying to solve the issues of the community, he/she is solving from this/her perspective. But their could be chances that other important views and information is being ignored which would help the community members to reach their real goals. Common interests generally would be for the betterment of the society. I love the idea that they put into consideration of non living things. With these kind of focus it guides us to be more environmentally conscious and being aware of the impact we would be making in the communities and society as a whole.
    When looking Ensemble leadership from the perspective of for profit organizations, from what I understood, I could be wrong that by applying the principles of democracy and participation, Irizar (part of Mondragon Cooperative) came out from the worst conditions of bankruptcy to well known company of luxury coaches today. Irizar is recognized internationally for its quality producers and extreme democratic management style. It also builds its success based upon knowledge and continuous innovation. It defines itself by the Project based on people. Its revised strategy included three main ideas, Customer focus, shared leadership and moving towards radical change. It invested in its employees and went to an extent where the decision making power was Devolved to various floor levels.
    Therefore, based on above example, Ensemble leadership could be successful in profit sectors too.

  8. GE YANG says:

    Can ensemble leadership create more value for the community in community management? I think so. A community should put the interests of the community in the most important place. Only when the community is moving forward can the people living in the community benefit. If the interests of individuals are at the forefront, this will lead to imbalances in the whole community, and other projects in the corresponding community will also be affected. In ensemble leadership, community management should manage individuals in the community. The diversity of individuals in the community poses challenges to management. Ensemble leadership should set rules and regulations for individuals in the community, so that everyone can enter the community. Individuals can abide by the community system in order to keep the community moving forward, and the development of the community will benefit individuals living in the community.

    • Jin Tiema says:

      Just like HongKong issue that we discussed on this morning, capital operation and economic development always are the main factors that lead this negative social movement, as you mentioned If the interests of individuals are at the forefront, this will lead to imbalances in the whole community. The economic growth of HongKong is going down nowadays, most young people only can earn low wages, but a few capitalists still make more money, the phenomenon of unfair wealthy distribution boosts those young men attacked the government because they may assume their behavior shall change their life in the future. I’m not here to talk about the superiority of communism system, but one country two system policy definitely shows a comparison between the two systems, the communism system represents an ensemble leadership and that is beneficial for social stability through balance the wealthy distribution.

  9. Siyuan Li says:

    In my opinion, collectivist better than an individual in a for-profit organization. An ensemble leader is able to make decisions more easily. They can collect a different opinion pick up one of the best one, which means it should be the most people think of. probably it’s the best for the company even its might harm few people. However, ensemble leadership may lack flexibility and humanistic that all for profit. Not good for individual but company. Even if we analyze about for-profit organizations, so I would say ensemble leadership is quite good for them.

    • Sijia Xue says:

      Individual losses may be unavoidable in the development of an organization, but it is temporary. Take social enterprises as an example, social enterprise is the business runs by for profits organizations that use part of the profits to benefit the society. In the perspective of the entrepreneur, it is a kind of loss in capital. But when local people recognize that the business is running for benefit the society, more and more people will support the business which is good for reputation building and the business sustainability .

  10. Sijia Xue says:

    Ensemble leadership should be approach within the context of both for-profit orgnizations and non profit orgnizaions for the following reasons below. First, the influence of an outstanding individual is smaller than that of the outsanding group. In my personal experiences, I used to work in a for profit orgnization. So far as I experienced,nomatter how strong leadership I have, there could be one or two small details that i maybe missed compared when I worked with a team. This also means a team can contribute more than an individual does. Second, no matter what kind of the orgnizations it is, people will not judge the orgniaztion by a certain person no matter how wonderful he/she is.The example of inanimate lives also represent the ideas of the benefit of the team is more important than individuals because the sustainable organizations will bring individuals ongoing profits. In the perspective of community economic development, ensemble leadership is helpful to help local residents that work for social enterprises to build the sense of team responsiblity which is helpful to achieve the aim of “no one get left behind”. So, in my opinion ensemble leadership is not only a capacity that to help the orgnization develop better, but also a sprit that make local residents work together that help uneven development community to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.

    • SHUO WANG says:

      I agree with you. Research in any field has proved that the power of the collective is greater than that of the individual. Leaders should set up the collective management culture, cultivating organization members of the general situation consciousness and cooperation spirit, make the members can care about each other, help each other, improve everyone’s sense of responsibility, also restrain their own behavior, safeguard the collective honor, advocating the spirit of devotion to make each member volunteered to give up their personal interests for the team, the team can play a greater power. As for community development, if all residents can take building their own community as the primary goal and take the initiative to help poor areas and families, the community will undoubtedly develop better and better.

      • Siyuan Li says:

        In fact, it’s impossible to ask the individual to give up their personal interests. you’d say they can give up some of their interests for the communities or organizations. That means it’s hard to make everyone agree with you. How to balance these two different part or how to deal with it when someone has a different voice when they got an ensemble leader.

    • Sarvjeet kaur says:

      You have made a very good point that Ensemble leadership helps in reducing inequality. Inequality is a global issue and these kind of leadership models are the way forward where the control is not in the hands of individuals or few people, therefore, there could be less chances of exploitation. Moreover, a sense of responsibility out on the every member through collective approach would give them the sense of belonging and pride towards the development of organizations and of each other.

  11. SHUO WANG says:

    This article mainly discusses the ensemble leadership theory, it mainly describes the importance of collectivism over individualism. In the community economic development, collectivism can help the managers and participants of the community to firm their beliefs when the interests of the individual and the interests of the community conflict. When a community develops well the life of the residents here will be better. I think the ensemble leadership approach is still feasible for for-profit organizations because the most important task of a company leader is to maximize the interests of the company, not the interests of a shareholder or an employee. As the company grows stronger, the profits of shareholders will also increase, and the salaries of employees will also rise. If leaders put personal interests in the first place regardless of the interests of the company, then the company will decline and all the members will suffer.

    • Erin says:

      I agree with your thoughts on this. When people at all levels are valued with the knowledge they have in performing their day to day jobs, this knowledge can be useful in other areas, departments and to organization as whole when looking at efficiencies, strategic decision making and customer service for example.

    • Peitong Li says:

      I strongly agree that collective and personal conflicts of interest are collectivism that can change the individual’s point of view and obey the collective. In the organization, each member has the value of being an independent individual. Together they create value for the community or the enterprise, and they also interact with each other. Restricting each other and ensuring that the goals of thcityd the company do not deviate too much. However, many actual cases prove that the collective interests have grown, and the beneficiaries are more shareholders, not employees. This is also the issue that leadership has been paying attention to. The balance of collective interests and members’ interests (salary, happiness) is the embodiment of the leader’s level.

  12. Yuheng Li says:

    Ensemble leadership is a necessary trend in the current society, so that it is in line with the democratic society we advocate. Whether it is for the enterprise or the community, one cannot make decisions. He needs to brainstorm. Often, family management companies struggle to stay brilliant. A company needs to have a professional leadership team to manage. Through cooperation, we can act decisively, operate in a highly digital environment, and be more responsive to the competitive business environment, and the process of collaboration can bring them a wide range of insights and experiences. This will increase the rigor of collaborative discussions.

    • WanKun Li says:

      I agree with the leadership team and collaboration you mentioned later.But I don’t think democracy is necessarily a development trend. Because in the management of enterprises and communities, cooperative leadership may lead to some differences, and the emergence of these differences will lead to the decline of efficiency and the contradiction of common values. Cooperative leaders are prone to bribery outside the company or the community has formed their own power relations, and democracy is sometimes not conducive to the company’s development.

  13. Erin says:

    In my opinion, ensemble leadership approach can be used in not for profit and for profit organizations. By valuing everyone in the decision making purpose with the expertise or knowledge they have in their day to day work, and how that knowledge can be used to better the collective, it allows everyone to diffuse their individual knowledge among many people and situations for the betterment of the whole company or community. Ensemble leadership approach invites and includes people into conversations that may not interact and allows learnings and understanding from the top to the bottom that will help the collective be successful in reaching their goal(s).

    • Agnes Zhang says:

      I agreed with you, this is a good way to create the conversations between management level with the staff and it definitely could be effective to motive the employees’ dedications and creativity. It also helps the “leaders” to think and make decision from the overall perspective instead of “traditional” top-down method…. All the enterprises in this changeable world should learn to adapt to the new alternative thoughts and methods for managing with the internal and external issues.

  14. WanKun Li says:

    I think ensemble leadership is good for the development of community non-profit organizations. First of all, the CED emphasizes the progress of the local community. The important point is that the residents in the community need to participate in the community construction, so collectivism must be applied to the CED. The collectivism in the ensemble leadership is more concerned with the collective interests than the personal interests, which is consistent with the CED’s goal. The concept of the second hierarchical structure is also more in line with the development of the current era. The establishment of community organizations is not limited to one region or a certain country. Community organizations in different cultures of different countries should have different management structures, which must conform to local culture and other requirements.

    • Haitong says:

      I agree with your opinion that the ensemble leader is beneficial to CED. Some of CED’s ideas and ensemble leaders can overlap in some places, for example, all in the collective interest. Dynamics and heterarchy can help CED have the ability to survive and make every member more connected, not just based on benefits.

      • shiyu Chen says:

        Your comment touches on CED’s leadership, which interests me. In my opinion, the theory of overall leadership cannot be simply said to be suitable for CED or not. No matter which kind of leadership theory is suitable for CED, it should adapt to the corresponding situation. In the community development, due to the differences between communities, each has its own advantages and different thorny issues, so the leadership theory should be formulated according to the needs of community development, to truly guide the community work and play a practical role in community development.

  15. GUOREN ZHANG says:

    In my opinion, collectivism is more powerful than individualism, and ensemble leadership occurs everywhere. People still need time to learn how to work together because every individual has the sense of selfishness. Even though hierarchy exists in every organization, people always think about their own benefits. Ensemble leadership and collectivism means not only working together but also cooperating in a proper way, which means people should communicate with each other and respect to every personality, culture and even the disadvantages of a person. It is definitely wrong to see own well-being as a function of collective well-being as the blog said. For the economic development, an organization should have a clear and completed hierarchy to achieve the goal. We should learn from the nature, like the plants, they can act upon the group and each other to make the whole body grow. We human beings are more advanced, so we can act in our own ways to learn from each other. Finally, I think growing up and getting old is a process of always learning things.

  16. Shiyu Chen says:

    Combined with relational leadership theory and local cognitive style, the author describes overall leadership as collectivist, dynamic, decisive and heterogeneous. In my opinion, no matter which of these four characteristics are independent and parallel, they are also interrelated and interactive. A person or thing is a very responsible for the development of the situation and the reason, it is caused by many factors, which requires us to solve the things, the first thing to know nature through phenomenon, then, analyzing the specific issues using appropriate ways to operate, with overall development direction is given priority to, do different solution processing in different situation, consider alternatives and at the same time there will be problems and treatment.

    • Yifan Liu says:

      The global supply chain involves a bunch of elements, leadership is like a link to string up each item. How to make every aspect run in an orderly manner is the main task for the leader. In my opinion, collectivism is a better way to maximize the benefits for a community. Usually, leaders don’t have the energy to take care of the problems that the minority have. Collectivism can concentrate on solving the issues that most people have. If the leader estimates the needs of everyone, it will be when there are many problems at the same time, there is no way to decide which one should be solved first. The bigger the community, the more it needs a collectivist leadership model.

  17. Peitong Li says:

    The ensemble leadership has unique value as a new leadership theory. Collectivist as a value system, largely ignores the individual’s happiness experience, but it is also one of the mainstream consciousness in the world. Some countries, nations and regions have so far regarded collectivism as their main development goal. For me personally, through community economic learning, the community is a collection of members who share public resources and wisdom. Members strive to make their communities develop into sustainability. They are not only a reflection of the value of their own lives, but also a help to other members of the community. Members can enjoy personal happiness through this collectivism. The dynamic perspective is based on physical definitions. Periodic events are indeed reflected in all aspects of life, such as the cycle of the Earth’s revolution and rotation, the economic cycle, and the life cycle of humans and living things. The development of things is fast or slow, even if it is stagnant or backward, it is a dynamic result.
    Regarding hierarchy and leadership, if we also take plants as research objects, we will find that if we look at the top-down perspective, the development of rhizomes is indeed random, but if we go from bottom to top, all The rhizomes are supported by the water absorbed by themselves to support the trunk and branches to obtain more living space and illumination. This is a mutual support ensemble leadership. The ensemble leadership must have its existence value in the development of the community economy, and the profitable organization, but the specific limitations still need to be studied through the specific community environment and organization.

    • pengfei zhuo says:

      I agree that ensemble leadership has a unique value as a new leadership theory. Collectivism as a value system perspective. The concept is explained in the article by the botany phenomenon of root reproduction. Rhizomes are the propagation of certain plant species in different directions underground, causing new plants to appear in seemingly random locations, so the concept of central plants eventually becomes meaningless. Instead, what exists now is a complex network of interconnected plants that make up only one plant. This is like the economic development of the community. It needs to be connected and to consider development at different levels and angles.

  18. FANGZHOU SONG says:

    This kind of leadership combines more elements form other existing theory and adding some new
    indigenous ways. The characteristic of ensemble leadership are collectivist, dynamic, decentered, and heterarchy respectively. The first two concept are known. Decentration allows me to memory the global supply chain, which is similar. The global supply chain is a dynamic worldwide network. It involves people, information, processes, and resources involved in the production, handling, and distribution of materials and finished products or providing a service to the customer. It not means the global chain is a line, instead it is a global network. leadership could also make sense, which could formulate a network among people. The notion of heterarchy refers to the structure of a community used to be decentralized rather than a hierarchy. In terms to community economic development, the characteristics of ensemble leadership are associated to these principles of CED. we need a holistic perspectives to see what situation or community we live and how to achieve sustainable. each community member should rethink this kind of notion to conduct our mindset and activities.

  19. Agnes Zhang says:

    Ensemble leadership provide a completely new perspective and insight into the research and study of Leadership and Management. I think it might be an inspirational method to push the community economic development since its four features are just another kind of interpretation for holistic, democratic, decentralization, participation and involvement, which is consistent with the principles of the CED and those factors can motivate the energy and active of a region, a community and an enterprise. For the for-profits, I think the ensemble leadership is still very applicable and functional as the current major for-profits usually encounter the barriers for sustainable growth just because of the problem existing in their organization and leadership structure, which cause the narrow scope of the top management, the tension between the management and the staff and the response speed to the outside changeable world. Therefore we can assume if the for-profits can alter their way to manage and lead the organization, they will reach the better performance. The leadership as well as the management, is like the other everything in current world, should be ready for change and adjust anytime to cope with the evolution of the society.

  20. Shelley Robinson says:

    What comes to mind for me when I read/think about ensemble leadership is the way it could affect teaching, particularly in the MBA CED program.

    It may not be appropriate for all kinds of classes. For instance, the world at large has a standard conception of what both accounting and finance mean, and what skills people require to engage with these disciplines. However, I think there are a number of areas where this could be a benefit, and not just in the CED core courses.

    In some ways, group work is already a way to tap into this: it blends the good of the individual with the good of the collective (in terms of the grade if nothing else); control of the group is often heterarchic, shifting over time as the work and context demands; and the resulting ideas the group comes up with can be rhizomatic — starting from one place and through the group’s processes ending up somewhere completely different, and not a place any one student would or could have landed on their own.

    What ensemble leaderships adds to this is the professor becomes part of the collective. Maybe the prof could be conceived as the original rhizome, the first ginger root that was planted (which implies they come from a previous rhizomatic cluster). But once class begins, the class as a collective wends its way through knowledge dynamically, heterarchically and as a collective.

    This has the advantage of the subject area being enhanced by the experiences and knowledge of all members of the collective, is more inclusive of difference, and course content can adapt to, come from and help address a changing world.

    This might have additional salience in the teaching of management/leadership/OB as the process of learning the material also becomes a way of learning a management or organizational governance style that can be replicated throughout the student’s life and career.

    Finally, I think it would be particularly interesting to see what comes from blending classic Western education with education that is more Indigenous and gerundial.

  21. Michelle (XUE MI) says:

    Ensemble leadership is a really interesting theory. The authors characterize ensemble leadership as collectivist, dynamic, decentered, and hierarchical. It has both integrity and difference. If people can take full advantage of this theory that will bring us the good results,one plus one is greater than tow. But if people cannot use it very well, it also brings lots of damage. I will give a real example. In a partnership company, at the beginning of set up the company, all the leader in this company has the some goal, they will reach a consensus for most of the decision under a very natural state. Each of them will try their best to management the company, at that time, ensemble leadership play its maximum role. But when the company develops at a certain level, there will have some disagreements between managers. At this time, ensemble leadership will decrease the work efficiency. All the time will spend on how to balance the relationship between the managers. So how to take advantage of ensemble leadership theory become more and more important. As the unit 19.1 says,all the things have requisite variety,so in my opinion we cannot easily to say this theory is good or not. But according to my experience, I do not think this approach to leadership be possible within the context of for-profit. As human beings have independent thinking ability,each of them has different angles and position to deal with the problem. As this situation, ensemble leadership will hinders the decision-making and execution. So in my opinion, I think ensemble leadership is really hard to handle.

  22. Jin Tiema says:

    My opinion of ensemble leadership might not leave communism thought, coincidentally, communism can not be explained without the perspective of collectives. Each Chinese primary school offers a Politics course to the children, now I still remember the textbook educated students that persons’ destiny cannot avoid the influence of country, the benefit of country is higher than any individual benefit, this point of view is opposed to the western popular ideology that pursuing democracy and freedom, but I do trust this is the core of ensemble leadership and that works for Chinese modern development.
    Moreover, the feature of the ensemble leadership truly can find out evidence through researching non-human things, not only animals, plants, and rocks. If we look into the process of life evolution on the earth, we can find that the earth has existed for 7 billion years already, within this progress, organic substances used a long time to transfer itself to become the organic biological unit, if we ignore the existence of the god, the functions of the macro environment of the earth obviously was the main factor that pushed life evolution. In some simple words, the whole environment of the earth just like an ensemble leadership and it contributes to the development of life evolution.
    So my answer to the questions at the end of the article all is yes, a for-profit organization cannot work only with every single functional department, a manager must ensemble lead a company, this way can be helpful to connect each department for the common goal and sufficiently use all touchable resource without a waste.

  23. pengfei zhuo says:

    By definition, we will see leadership around us, in management, in the classroom, at the stadium, in the government, in the military, in listed multinationals, in small companies until a small family, we can at all levels, each The field sees leadership and it is at the heart of everything we do. A title or position cannot automatically create a leader. For a company’s growth, the leadership of the CEO and executive team is particularly important, committed to the leadership and professionalization of business owners and CEOs, thereby helping and promoting business performance and performance improvement. A broad understanding of overall leadership, that is, understanding leadership as a force that is endogenous to the leadership and acts on the leadership resource allocation process, is the sum of the various forces achieved through the leadership mechanism. Modern systems science is a comprehensive science-based on the development of modern physics, chemistry, biology, and other disciplines. It emphasizes the analysis of problems from the perspective of holistic, connected and development. More and more new scientific discoveries have shown us a connected, magical and dynamic world. The development of society and the environment calls for new leadership relationships. Only a broad understanding of leadership is conducive to the development of leadership research, which is conducive to the development of new leadership relationships.

  24. Yifan Liu says:

    When we talk about the ensemble leadership, there is a concept “Collectivism” has to be considered. It is a kind of ideological theory that advocates that individuals are subordinated to society, and that personal interests should be subordinated to the interests of the group, the nation, the class, and the state. It is a spirit. In a totalitarian country, this consciousness will be used for absolute loyalty to political parties and leaders and is the nature of dictatorships. Basically, we think the spirit is not democratic and no respect for human rights. Everyone should have the right to participate in community decision making, it is for sure, but for me personally, I do not think it is the best model in leadership. I respect people’s right. However, the public is lacking in professionalism, they are very susceptible to public opinion. Why do not we give the power of making decisions to the people who have rich experience and knowledge, save time, and focus on development? I do not think everyone can think independently, decisions made by stupid masses can easily cause irreparable damage to the community.

    • Eric Henderson says:

      I agree with your point of view on the totalitarian country. The idea is similar to the idea of Hitler’s regime, the Reid. People lost their rights of freedom, rights of having their voices and making their own decisions. All of that is controlled by the government, the Reid.
      Regarding the point about the shortage of professionalism of the public, in my opinion, to be exact, this is the government’s insoluble problem. In many countries, in which democracy is not considered as their management policy, decisions are made by the government and its cabinet members. There are also annual or quarter referendums which are supposed to create freedom of thought of people and gather their ideas to make their country better. However, people’s ideas are usually taken for granted and the real and final decisions are already made by very few top people. That’s why we still witness endless conflicts between government and citizen in those countries.

  25. Eric Henderson says:

    In my opinion, this type of leadership is perfectly compatible with the CED’s context because CED’s core principles are for people, with people, and by people. The CED project has to put group interests in the first place to be successful and achieve the common good. Moreover, de-centered way of leadership facilitates the process of empowering people which can contribute significantly to the viability of the CED’s project.
    Regarding the for-profit organization context, in my point of view, the collectivist and de-centered aspects can be applicable especially in young or new enterprises. In the for-profit organization, the key thing of doing business for both the owner and managers is to maximize benefit and profit. However, to be sustainable, the managers or leaders have to find a way to bring benefit to all people. Doing so, they can grow others and can create a healthy organizational environment where people helping each other.
    As regards to the de-centered aspect, I believe it is an effective way to operate, especially in our current volatile century. The highly hierarchical system will be less flexible, creative and resilient than de-centered one.

  26. THUAN TRAN says:

    If we look at the structure of an organization, we will see the hierarchy of this organization. Each organization will have a boss and a CEO then managers/leaders and so on. The top of an organization needs to be unique but can change. The CEO could be a leader or a manager in this organization, it’s depended on how we think. But the CEO is the one who leads the organization to achieve an organization’s goals and vision. The leader needs to share a goal, vision, direction, and strategic to the followers in order the followers can understand and go further with their targets. Besides, the followers have to follow one leader to get their finish line. For me, one leader is the best choice for any organization, however, collectivist is important and need to have in many organizations and depend on what organization forms.

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