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As the nature of work and the workplace continue to change, leaders need to become adept at changing how they lead. In this chapter, we describe four broad leader behavior categories (task-oriented, relations-oriented, change-oriented, and external behaviors), their specific component behaviors, and evidence for the importance of these behaviors. We also describe several major changes facing leaders in the coming years, including demographic changes in the workforce, technological changes, changes in occupations and work tasks, and global and strategic changes. Then we provide suggestions for how leaders should flexibly use the different types of behaviors to reflect these changes and the leadership situation. Finally, we offer some suggestions for future research that would make theoretical and methodological contributions to the leadership literature.
The changing nature of work and workers is a topic that has excited substantial interest and discussion across academic disciplines, organizations, and the popular press. To the degree that statements and proposals "due to the changing nature of work/workers" are supported and, therefore, the nature of work/workers has changed, then the approaches commonly used by organizations for attracting, retaining, and rewarding talent must also change in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Similarly, to the extent that work has changed, workers will need to adapt to a workplace that requires different skills, is differently organized, and where the assumptions of the past may no longer hold. This chapter introduces the topic of the changing nature of work and workers, describes common methods used to analyze change, offers a conceptual model of the changing nature of work, and summarizes the major themes covered in this handbook.
This handbook provides an overview of the research on the changing nature of work and workers by marshalling interdisciplinary research to summarize the empirical evidence and provide documentation of what has actually changed. Connections are explored between the changing nature of work and macro-level trends in technological change, income inequality, global labor markets, labor unions, organizational forms, and skill polarization, among others. This edited volume also reviews evidence for changes in workers, including generational change (or lack thereof), that has accumulated across domains. Based on documented changes in work and worker behavior, the handbook derives implications for a range of management functions, such as selection, performance management, leadership, workplace ethics, and employee well-being. This evaluation of the extent of changes and their impact gives guidance on what best practices should be put in place to harness these developments to achieve success.
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