Leadership in the Information Revolution

Dr Nye

The information revolution has fundamentally changed how we understand effective leadership styles in America. In the past, leadership was thought as effective when of commands and controls - a relic of the twentieth century's hierarchical organizations. However, newly available work from Joseph S. Nye Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, former Dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and recent recipient of Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, shows how traditional leadership styles are less effective in the twenty-first century. Instead, as the hierarchical structure of organizations disappears and collaboration dominates corporate culture today, new models of leadership are needed. His work, entitled "Leadership" and part of the forthcoming book, American Governance, edited by Stephen L. Schechter, outlines the changing focus of leadership as technology and lifestyle disrupt our traditional views. In one example, Nye highlights research affirming a model for multiple leaders in the context of thriving but complex dotcom startups. The findings, he concludes, demonstrate how effective leadership across our institutions now depends on the participation of multiple leaders to make decisions and achieve goals.

You can find "Leadership" and six additional works authored by Dr. Nye in DASH.

Feature by Bryce Mullins, OSC Open Access Fellow and student at Harvard Extension School.