This classical business view, which hides different local rationalities on the part of the participants, is still followed by most strategic consultants, many fixed-rate controllers and all associated data-driven control software.
The belief in the feasibility of individuals who are under the pressure of self-responsibility for their fate, acts on the stringent target tracking. Even more serious than the partial relapse into old patterns of behavior and hierarchy, however, will be the factual and factual faith in the transformation process. Due to the constant report obligation of large stock corporations and the improved data collection in quasi real time management decisions are exposed to “objective” planning situations and permanent success control – if not already the software and the algorithm make the decisions themselves.
The other world view sees leadership as a discussion offer in the search for the best possible solution (for all). The one image or the one plan no longer exists – the solution arises only from the many ideas and images of those involved in the collaborative group process. Through the intended participation all are responsible and remain motivated even after finding a solution for the feasibility and realization. The factual situation is subordinated to the qualitative solution finding and remains relevant for the decision, maintenance or correction of the target consensus.
This withdrawn and discursive style of leadership corresponds to the desire for co-determination and the intention to increase the self-commitment of the employees. At times executives face conflicting expectations and may even have to correct so many retrained lines (which made them predictable to their employees). This inevitably leads to uncertainties and collisions. The manager is overwhelmed: First, it is the old longings for security, status and relief to use or compensate, on the other hand, it is about the
Imparting a discursive way of working, including opening up new opportunities for as many individuals as possible.
If everyone is to be “taken away”, the leader has to “tear himself apart” as it were and runs the risk of becoming untrustworthy as the protagonist of change himself. If, on the other hand, it advances with convinced pioneers as a role model for the new working culture and only supports those who willingly take part, it threatens to split off those who feel that they are worse off or overwhelmed by the innovations.
It remains to be carefully examined whether this consensual management style is the most suitable for all processes and knowledge workers. The extent to which the new style of management takes back depends on the form of organization, its workforce, the degree of specialization, the customer or market orientation and the degree of digital networking.
Although the guidance with given solutions corresponds neither to the overall reduced predictability nor to the emancipated image of society, it can retain its expediency for quick decisions in hitherto hierarchical structures. Employees who have been authoritatively socialized, ask for responsibilities and clear leadership impulses. Enjoyment of responsibility is not an anthropological constant. The lack of given solutions or a secure method for dealing with complex issues requires self-confidence in one’s own abilities, professional experience and creative flexibility, which are not easy to adjust with the change of leadership style.
Hierarchically legitimized leadership that is based on the enforcement of goals can therefore continue to make sense under certain circumstances. Even more, a sudden shift to a participatory-transformational leadership style can lead to a significant decline in overall performance in an authoritarian socialized context. In the future, therefore, there will be a – contextually justified – authorization for both leadership worlds that are con- firmed in this paper.