Changing Through Turbulent Times – Why Adaptive Leadership Matters

  • Nana Arthur-Mensah, Ph.D.
  • Jeffrey Zimmerman, Ph.D.


As environmental factors continue to force organizations to adapt and change, researchers, practitioners, and leaders will be required to develop methods to more effectively handle the challenges of less predictability, increased uncertainty and complexity surrounding such changes. The adaptive leadership model (Heifetz & Laurie, 1997) provides leaders with a unique perspective on how to motivate, mobilize and engage individuals to respond positively to change in a variety of contexts, particularly when traditional change models fall short in addressing the human side of change that so often leads to failed change processes. This paper proposes a conceptual framework suggesting that researchers, practitioners, and leaders applying adaptive leadership to traditional, prescriptive organizational change models can develop
competencies and behaviors among all stakeholders as they thrive and move towards a new normal. Further implications are also given for leadership practice, theory, and research.

How to Cite
ARTHUR-MENSAH, Nana; ZIMMERMAN, Jeffrey. Changing Through Turbulent Times – Why Adaptive Leadership Matters. The Journal of Student Leadership, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 1-13, dec. 2017. ISSN 2575-727X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 june 2019.