Navigating in Turbulent Environments: How to Keep Staying in the Game?

Heli Talja, Glenda Eoyang, Merja Airola

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleScientific


    This study compares leadership decision-making and strategy in seven Finnish companies to identify patterns of resilient leadership in complex environments. The companies range in size from one to 700 employees, and they work in a variety of sectors, including higher education, energy production and residential construction. Leaders have a wide variety of styles, experiences and roles within their organizations. In spite of the variations among the organizations, some consistent patterns of resilient action emerged. Building on the concept of organizations as complex adaptive systems, the study uses two models to represent, compare and contrast how the organizations responded to various levels of stability inside and outside their organizations. Adaptive Action, an iterative inquiry and decision-making process, provided insights into how leaders navigated turbulent environments. The Modified Landscape Diagram, a map of relative stability for dynamics, represents responses to changing internal and external stability from the past through present and into potential futures. We propose that these two models can be used by leaders prospectively to increase resiliency for their organizations in turbulent environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNavigating Through Changing Times
    Subtitle of host publicationKnowledge Work in Complex Environment
    EditorsAnne Eskola
    Place of PublicationNew York
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-16466-3
    ISBN (Print)978-1-13-804846-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeB2 Part of a book or another research book


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