Fluid leadership in dynamic contexts: a qualitative comparative analysis of the biblical account of Nehemiah

Fluid leadership in dynamic contexts: a qualitative comparative analysis of the biblical account of Nehemiah
Document type
Thomas, Christopher H.; Hebdon, Andrew S.; Novicevic, Milorad M.
Date of publication
1 January 2015
Journal of Management History. Vol. 21; Number 1
Business & management history: including the development of management thought
Business and management
Material type

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The purpose of this study is to examine an historical account of an effective leader who was able to draw from multiple styles of leadership, and choose a dominant style based upon contextual constraints and demands context, and subordinate behaviors associated with leadership styles not suited to the context. Design/methodology/approach: to identify his prominent style at each leadership episode, we critically analyzed Nehemiah’s leadership role transitions across 13 chapters of text using sociohistorical method and a quasi-repeated treatment design via qualitative comparative analysis. Findings: we found that Nehemiah adapted his behaviors such that his prominently displayed leadership style varied based on dynamic configurations of demands placed on him during his rebuilding efforts. As Nehemiah progressed through distinct stages of his mission, he differentially emphasized tactics associated with different styles of leadership in response to the contextual demands that were most salient during each stage.

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