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The Best Leadership Book

Chapter Fourteen - Boundary Spanning

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"Most of the literature on organizational studies defines a boundary spanner as an individual who links their organization with the external environment and primarily concerns the exchange of information between the organization and environment. Leaders are boundary spanners. Leaders often find themselves as the connection point between the boundaries of their organization and others outside the organization."
Andrew J. Harvey and Raymond E. Foster (Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style).

Articles on Boundary Spanning

An Integrated View Of The Relationship Between The Organization And Its Environment
The contingency theory of organizations suggests a basic task of top managers or strategists is to fit strategies and structure with the environment. The creation of this alignment or fit requires strategists to recognize the opportunities and threats from an environment which is characterized by uncertainty. To define and measure the environment, three basic perspectives have evolved since the late 1950's: The objective environment perspective, the perceived environment perspective, and the enacted environment perspective. Each of these perspectives offers value to strategists creating environment-strategy-structure fits.
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Boundary Spanner: The Gatekeeper of Innovation in Partnerships
We are facing new forms of engagement, where unlikely alliances bring unexpected returns....and where traditional opposition often seems to be saying just what you are saying while meaning something altogether different.
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Environmental Scanning
Successful management of colleges and universities depends upon the ability of the senior leaders to adapt to rapidly changing external environment. Unfortunately, the lead time once enjoyed by decision makers to analyze and respond to these and other changes is decreasing. Traditional long-range planning models, with their inward focus and reliance on historical data, do not encourage decision makers to anticipate environmental changes and assess their impact on the organization.
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Environmental scanning as information seeking and organizational learning
Environmental scanning is the acquisition and use of information about events, trends, and relationships in an organization's external environment, the knowledge of which would assist management in planning the organization's future course of action. Depending on the organization's beliefs about environmental analyzability and the extent that it intrudes into the environment to understand it, four modes of scanning may be differentiated: undirected viewing, conditioned viewing, enacting, and searching.
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Leadership Responsibilities of Professionals
This chapter introduces a leadership development model that raises the question: Leadership for what? Leadership is about going somewherepersonally and in concert with others in an organization1. Although leadership is often discussed in terms of leader qualities and skills, especially position (elected or appointed) leadership, the matter of leadership as a responsibility of each professional receives little attention. Organizations and programs do not flourish with one leader in a group. Thus, more attention has to be paid to the definition of leader as anyone willing to help (Wheatley, 2005). Leadership is not about position only, but about taking responsibility as a member of a group (whether 2-person or 60-person) to share leadership for the organizations well-being.
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Web-based resources

Weddle's Association Directory
Professional associations and societies often operate Web-sites featuring job boards, resume banks or other employment-related services (these can include job agents, banner advertising and discussion forums for networking). This Directory is specially designed to help you find those association sites. It lists several thousand associations from around the world by their primary professional/occupational focus and/or industry of interest and provides a link to the Web-site they operate.

Google Alerts
Emailed updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include: monitoring a developing news story; keeping current on a competitor or industry; getting the latest on a celebrity or event; keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams.

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