The Leaderless Organization and Two Edged Applications
Updated: Jul 22, 2019
Each organization requires a specific style of leader, but the role of the leader may vary. In the conventional organizational style such as in the hierarchical or centralized organization, the inspirational leader who responded by providing the organization’s ideology, and the leader who responded by giving operational direction would have been the same person. In contrast, in the “leaderless organization” (decentralized, cellular) the two leaders will be different people, and most of the time the operational leader acts on his or her own but tries to correspond to the ideology from the inspirational leader. In this sense, ideology is like the glue for all decentralized units.
However, a prominent remark was made by Justin S. Hsu and Brian C. Low in their Naval Post Graduate School thesis, in which they asserted that the effectiveness of the “leaderless” organization depends on the contexts of the state or the society. Also, the 2006 bestselling book by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom proposed a similar concept and challenged the reader to rethink leadership styles and organizational structures; “leaderless” may not be the appropriate terminology. The key question regarding Southeast Asia is if a separatist organization using this concept can thrive in the Southeast Asian context. A more challenging question is whether the concept can be applied to an organization to form positive results, such as disaster relief and the pooling of resources to help poor people.