Peter McKiernan (Murdoch University, Western Australia) presented research which explored the effect of organisational leadership systems (OLS) on leader sense-giving. This paper caught my eye because it offered a different perspective—sense-giving, not sense-making. The possible effects of contextual factors in the leadership process are not well understood. McKiernan's longitudinal study sought to address this gap in the knowledge, by analysing qualitative data collected from interviews with leaders in 37 multinational firms, in order to discover whether the OLS is a trigger, enabler or barrier to leader sense-giving. The results showed that a degree of inherent complexity and ambiguity are triggers for sense-giving, and that objective (external) factors appears to have the biggest impact.
I asked the "so what?" question after the talk, and McKiernan said that this is the next step in his work. To understand implications for practice. I look forward to seeing the fruits of this work, because it is likely to be helpful to enhance leadership effectiveness in high change environments.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.