An Analysis of Change as a Major Function of Leadership

Subject: Management
Pages: 2
Words: 686
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Master


A leader must be able to adapt and implement change himself. The world is changing rapidly, and adaptability is key to successful competition.

Change Is a Major Function of Leadership

Adaptive leadership is the ability to unite a group of people to solve complex problems and come out with a winner in the end. Schedlitzki and Edwards (2017, p. 45) claim that “one of the most popular distinctions regarding leadership is that linked to the notion of change.” Corporate leaders must apply new strategies and techniques to overcome any problems that arise, which is the purpose of adaptive leadership. Hechanova et al. (2018, p. 914) count “five dimensions of ideal change leaders: strategic/technical competence, execution competence, social competence, character and resilience.” Implicit leadership theory (ILT) presupposes that the effectiveness of leaders depends, to some extent, on whether they meet the expectation of their followers (Guerrero, Teng-Calleja, Hechanova, 2018, p. 375).

Kotter’s approach is based on the idea that attitudinal change is the most effective path to organizational change. The process of change takes place in several stages: create an atmosphere of urgency, form influential teams of reformers, create a vision, promote the new vision, create a plan for communicating the vision, plan and achieve immediate results, consolidate achievements, and expand the transformation, institutionalize new approaches.

Actions of a Leader when a Company Is Failing

When a company is in decline, it is not apparent that the first thing to do is review processes, change management, and look for breakthrough projects. Turner et al. (2018, p. 538) state that leadership “had focused on short-term gains with the mentality to “follow the crowd.” Imran and Iqbal (2021, p. 94) state that “organizations are facing extreme pressure to introduce change initiatives to remain competitive and ensure survival in the market.” While implementing a new marketing strategy, it is necessary to reassess and analyze existing marketing methods, first realizing their ineffectiveness.

Recommendations for a Company to Prevent from Failing

There are several measures to be taken when the company is at risk of failing. Management should consider the following aspects:

  • Adaptiveness.
  • Innovation.
  • Strong team.
  • Business plan.
  • Business competitors’ study.

These recommendations relate most to situational leadership theory. Dumas and Beinecke (2018, p. 867) state that leaders “must encourage their organizations to learn, innovate, experiment, and question, preparing their organizations for change by constantly seeking new perspectives.” The advantage of the proposals is the ability to withstand any notable change in the marketplace. The disadvantage is the lack of consistency and the need to be flexible in response to external changes.

Comparison of Organizational Successful Measures with Measures that Failed to Yield Positive Results

In the example of Apple, it is possible to see the company’s path to failure but using the right strategy – its revival. Stauffer and Maxwell (2020, p. 105) explain that “change can be rife with failure until discovering the right mix to chart a new course for success.” When the company was heading towards a critical point, Jobs returned to the company as CEO. He withdrew most of the products and focused on the key ones. He also replaced the managers who resisted change. The search and development of new products began, leading to several successful series – iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Such success compared to Nokia’s collapse shows that they underestimated the weight of innovation in the growing popularity of touch. Secondly, the company could solve the crisis with the N9 phone, which was highly rated by experts. However, the company announced that the phone was stillborn. Holten et al. (2020, p. 393) state that “change leadership represents behaviors to inform, communicate with, involve, and support employees during change.” Nokia failed because of a lack of faith in its own product.

For a company’s remain afloat for a long time, it is impossible to count on the success of a single product. Caulfield and Senger (2017, p. 927) claim that “effective leaders enable followers to understand the reason for the change and to see its personal and organizational benefits.” If a company is not innovating and does not enter new markets, it degrades.

Reference List

Caulfield, J. L. and Senger, A. (2017) “Perception is reality: change leadership and work engagement”, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 38(7), pp. 927-945.

Dumas, C. and Beinecke, R. H. (2018) “Change leadership in the 21st century” Journal of Organizational Change Management, 31(4), pp. 867-876.

Guerrero, J. M., Teng-Calleja, M. and Hechanova M. R. (2018) “Implicit change leadership schemas, perceived effective change management, and teachers’ commitment to change in secondary schools in the Philippines”, Asia Pacific Education Review, 19(3), pp. 375–387.

Hechanova, M. R., Caringal-Go, J. F. and Magsaysay, J. F. (2018) “Implicit change leadership, change management, and affective commitment to change: Comparing academic institutions vs business enterprises”, Jowett F.Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 39(7), pp. 914-925.

Holten, A., Hancock, G. R. and Bøllingtoft, A. (2020) “Studying the importance of change leadership and change management in layoffs, mergers, and closures”, Management Decision, 58(3), pp. 393-409.

Imran, M. K. and Iqbal, S. M. (2021) “How change leadership affects change adaptability? Investigating the moderated mediation effect of Cognitive Resistance and Change Efficacy”,

Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences, 15(1), pp. 94-117.

Schedlitzki, D. and Edwards, G. (2017) Studying leadership: traditional and critical approaches. SAGE.

Stauffer, D. C. and Maxwell, D. L. (2020) “Transforming servant leadership, organizational culture, change, sustainability, and courageous leadership”, Journal of Leadership, 17(1), pp. 105-116.

Turner, J. R. et al. (2018) “Leadership development techniques: Mapping leadership development techniques with leadership capacities using a typology of development”, European Journal of Training and Development, 42(9), pp. 538-557.