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Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice by Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria

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16

WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? The CEO’s Role in Large, Complex Organizations

Michael E. Porter and Nitin Nohria

WHAT is the role of the CEO in a large, complex enterprise? What makes a CEO effective? At first blush, these questions seem easy to answer. The CEO represents the epitome of leadership. He or she exercises ultimate power, and is responsible for making the most critical decisions. However, these questions get far more complicated as one contemplates the realities of large organizations. Actually, the CEO cannot make most decisions, or even review them. The CEO is powerful, but multiple constituencies can constrain the CEO’s power, starting with the board. The enormous variability in CEO tenure and performance (see chapter 2) reveals that ...

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