Ryszard Praszkier

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/JPM.2015.009


Purpose: The article introduces the kind of leadership that fosters bottom-up dynamics, empowering people, groups, teams and societies.

Approach: It is documented through literature analysis and case studies.

Findings: That this approach, called Empowering Leadership, can achieve success in business and, in the case of social entrepreneurship, a significant social impact. After reviewing the existing definitions of leadership, the complexity theory is delineated, with twelve core attributes defined. Next, case studies demonstrating a new kind of leadership enabling endogenous dynamics both in in the social arena as well as in business are presented and analyzed from the perspective of the complexity theory. Finally, a definition of Empowering Leadership is delineated.

Implications: The presented Empowering Leadership is becoming critical in the growing world of multiplicity and unpredictability. It also enables achieving high impact though low investments. The paper is introducing ways of implementing presented Empowering Leadership in practice through building pre-conditions for the process of empowerment. The article concludes with a review of possible future areas of research.

Value: The paper brings and in-depth analysis of the bottom-up approach to leadership with the premise of complexity theory, demonstrating that Empowering Leadership is focused on building preconditions for endogenous dynamics, rather than driving change from the top. 


leadership; complexity; social entrepreneurship; social change; social capital; empowerment

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