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“Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley


Today, research on the phenomenon of leadership is becoming more and more critical. This topic is particularly relevant for the development of effective methods of administration. Modern approaches to leadership are diverse and reflect advancements in the development of new concepts. This paper will discuss leadership theories presented by Margaret Wheatley in the book Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World.

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In the book, Wheatley discusses various topics and observations, which relate to the leadership concept. The author introduces the meaning “new science” that consists of quantum physics, chaos & order theory, and biology that have disrupted old models of scientific theories. Talking about chaos & order, the author says that the purpose and direction of the organization are crucial to success in chaotic changes and operations (Wheatley, 2006). The clarity that the purpose gives and the definition of what the company wants to create help companies to evolve. The author advocates that order can exist without control in the company, utilizing self-organization principles presented in physics (London, 2008). Considering Schrodinger’s experiment with a cat, Wheatley states that specific behavior in an organization can only be observed when it is happening that managers should keep in mind when treating employees (Wheatley, 2006). She also emphasizes the role of democracy, stating that autocratic corporations face the issue of sustainability and might not be viable in the long-term perspective.

Thinking about examples that might relate to Wheatley’s observations, I can name several cases. First, the situation with autocratic leaders in teams and organizations. Previously, I had a chance to observe the team’s case that worked with an authoritarian team leader. Members of the group were treated as inferior by the senior manager, who highlighted his views and ideas as being better than others. The tension between team members and leaders was growing steadily, finally resulting in several employees’ resignations from their jobs. Only when the majority of the team confronted the leader or decided to leave the organization, HR-managers noticed the situation. They fired the manager after a year of employees’ oppression.

Another example and justification of Wheatley’s observations I saw when working with a team that had flexible team leaders and senior managers who decided to let the team do what they thought is best in the situation and establish activities on their own. The team went through a continuous process of communication goals and the development of objectives and operations. Still, eventually, it resulted in the self-organization of the team members who were united by a common goal and did not need significant control.

Analyzing the New Business Realities related to Wheatley’s leadership best practices, several connections between concepts can be found. For instance, new driving forces shaping business and society in the form of “Net Communications – New Communities” reflect the changes in communications and the evolution of online channels mentioned by Wheatley (Capella University, 2001). The author of the book states that the significance of building relationships became inevitable and was transformed from the “good guys” communication concept into the necessity to network efficiently; thus, LinkedIn appeared consequently (Wheatley, 2006). Secondly, “System Dynamics – Transformative Change” driving force also relates to Wheatley’s leadership practices in the form of chaos & order rules (Capella University, 2001). The author proposes to navigate through changes, defining the purpose, and keeping clarity on the question of why the organization exists. Therefore, this driving force reflects the rapid changes of companies and the environment, advocating the necessity to find solutions to preserve order.


To conclude, one can say that due to the rapid changes in organizations and other spheres, leadership concepts and theories evolve and adjust according to the new situation. Other fields of study, such as biology or physics, as shown in Wheatley’s book, can help people find new ways of managing people. Thus, it is necessary to keep updating leadership techniques to ensure that the organization’s operations run smoothly and bring value.


Capella University. (2001). New business realities of the 21st century. Web.

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London, S. (2008). The new science of leadership: An interview with Margaret Wheatley. Scott London. Web.

Wheatley, M. J. (2006). Leadership and the new science: Discovering order in a chaotic world (3rd ed.). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 6). “Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, January 6). “Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley.

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"“Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley." StudyCorgi, 6 Jan. 2022,

1. StudyCorgi. "“Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley." January 6, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "“Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley." January 6, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley." January 6, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Leadership and the New Science” by M. Wheatley'. 6 January.

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