Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Diane Pike

Second Advisor

Thomas Morgan


For most of the 20th century the mechanistic, linear world of Newtonian science has functioned both as metaphor for thinking about organizational dynamics and as the mental model around which organizations have developed. Recently, the postclassical sciences have yielded an alternate understanding of the world, one fundamentally different from that of the Newtonian model. This paper explores a world view emerging from complexity studies and quantum physics, contrasts it with the dominant image derived from classical physics, and draws implications for organizational leadership. The lens of postclassical science challenges our fundamental ontology and reframes our views of organizational life in general and of organizational leadership in particular. Based on a distinction between leaders and managers, and between leadership and management, a view of leadership as an emergent property of organizational dynamics is developed and emergent leadership is modeled as a key element in addressing organizational flux and change.


SC 11.MAL.1998.Beccone.L