Purpose – The objective of this paper is to conceptualize the serendipity of leadership effectiveness in management and business practices. The term “serendipity” is defined as the mix of leadership effectiveness by accident and sagacity in management and business practices. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a conceptual discussion of the serendipity of leadership effectiveness in management and business practices. Findings – This paper contributes a number of models and a matrix that are introduced to address the underlying criteria of the cause-effect relationship between leadership effectiveness and organizational achievements. Research limitations/implications – This paper challenges the idealistic picture that flourishes in the management literature and in management practice of the direct, positive impact of leadership on prosperous management and business practices. In fact, it reinforces and underpins the critical or sceptical views of leadership effectiveness raised in the literature. Practical implications – Normally, views of organizational achievements are based on the assumption that contextual, timely and skilful precisions in leadership effectiveness are high. Shareholders and stakeholders may benefit from a thorough examination of these issues in organizational achievements. It would not be surprising to find that leadership effectiveness in management and business practices to a minor or major extent is derived from pure luck and coincidence in contextual and timely precisions: right place, right time. This means that such leadership effectiveness may be based on serendipity rather than skilfulness in terms of organizational achievements. Originality/value – The authors contend that the term “serendipity” contributes to enhance the ongoing discussion in the literature of the link between leadership effectiveness and organizational achievements. It also provides a fundament of understanding, explanation and prediction of leadership effectiveness in management and business practices.
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