Advertisement

Christian Leaders as Agents of Change: A Biblical Perspective with Practical Implications

  • Tim Gregory
Chapter
Part of the Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business book series (CFPLB)

Abstract

Through an analysis of the Prophet Elisha’s leadership characteristics, it can be demonstrated that Christian leaders as agents of change should embody certain characteristics, which are supported by modern social science research. These characteristics include being a team player, being creative in their actions, showing gratitude to others team members, being concerned for the needs of others, thinking from a global perspective, holding themselves and others accountable for their actions, encouraging team members, being resolute in their decision making and character, speaking the truth in difficult situations, and motivating others to reach for new heights.

References

  1. Adler, N., & Bartholomew, S. (1992). Managing global competent people. Academy of Management Executive, 6, 52–65.Google Scholar
  2. Antonakis, J., Cianciolo, A., & Sternberg, R. (Eds.). (2012). The nature of leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Arrow, H., McGrath, J. E., & Berdahl, J. L. (2000). Small groups as complex systems: Formation, coordination, development and adaptation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Avolio, B. J., & Gardner, W. L. (2005). Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 315–338.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Azoulay, D. (1999). Encouragement and logical consequences versus rewards and punishment: A reexamination. Individual Psychology, 55(1), 91.Google Scholar
  6. Barratt-Pugh, L., Bahn, S., & Gakere, E. (2013). Managers as change agents. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 26(4), 748–764.  https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-Feb-2011-0014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bartlett, M. Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior. Psychological Science, 17(4), 319.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01705.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Behnam, M., & MacLean, T. L. (2011). Where is the accountability in international accountability standards? A decoupling perspective. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(1), 45–72.  https://doi.org/10.5840/beq20112113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Besley, T., Persson, T., & Reynal-Querol, M. (2016). Resilient leaders and institutional reform: Theory and evidence. Economica, 83(332), 584–623.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ecca.12208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clark, A. (1977). Clark’s Commentary: The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments. Nashville: Abingdon.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, M. A., Robertson, M. M., & Young, S. (2019). “I feel your pain”: A critical review of organizational research on empathy. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 40(2), 166–192.  https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cogan, M., & Tadmor, H. (1988). II Kings: A new translation (1st ed., Vol. 11). Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  13. Dinkmeyer, D. C., & Losoncy, L. E. (1996). The skills of encouragement: Bringing out the best in yourself and others. Delray Beach, FL: St. Lucie Press.Google Scholar
  14. Eskerod, P., Justesen, J. B., & Sjøgaard, G. (2017). Enriching project organizations with formal change agents. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 10(3), 578–599.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-03-2016-0028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Exell, J. (1975). The biblical illustrator (Vol. 4). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.Google Scholar
  16. Ford, C. M. (2002). The futurity of decisions as a facilitator of organizational creativity and change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 15(6), 635–646.  https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810210449541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Franklin, S. (2016). Creativity. Business History Review, 90(4), 694–701.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007680517000034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ghemawat, P. (2017). Globalization in the age of trump. Harvard Business Review, 4(95), 112–123.Google Scholar
  19. Gillette, J., & McCollom, M. (1995). Groups in context: A new perspective on group dynamics. Lanham: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  20. Gini, A. (1997). Moral leadership and business ethics. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 4(4), 64–81.  https://doi.org/10.1177/107179199700400406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Groysberg, B., Lee, J., Price, J., & Cheng, J. Y.-J. (2018, January–February). The leader’s guide to corporate culture. Harvard Business Review.Google Scholar
  22. Hammer, J. H., & Brenner, R. E. (2019). Disentangling gratitude: A theoretical and psychometric examination of the Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test-Revised Short (GRAT-RS). Journal of Personality Assessment, 101(1), 96–105.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2017.1344986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Henry, M. (1983). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible (Moody paperback ed.). Chicago: Moody Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hoppmann, J., Sakhel, A., & Richert, M. (2018). With a little help from a stranger: The impact of external change agents on corporate sustainability investments. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(7), 1052–1066.  https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. House, P. R. (1995). 1, 2 Kings (Vol. 8). Nashville: Broadman & Holman.Google Scholar
  26. House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. (Eds.). (2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Smith, W. M. (1945). A commentary, critical, experimental and practical, on the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.Google Scholar
  28. Jiang, J., Gao, A., & Yang, B. (2018). Employees’ critical thinking, leaders’ inspirational motivation, and voice behavior: The mediating role of voice efficacy. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 17(1), 33–41.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1866-5888/a000193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1969). Commentary on the Old Testament: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Vol. 3). Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans.Google Scholar
  30. Kim, H. (2014). Transformational leadership, organizational clan culture, organizational affective commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior: A case of South Korea’s public sector. Public Organization Review, 14(3), 397–417.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11115-013-0225-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kim, K., Dansereau, F., & Kim, I. (2002). Extending the concept of charismatic leadership. In B. Avolio & F. Yammarino (Eds.), Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead (Vol. 2, pp. 143–172). Wagon Lane, Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.Google Scholar
  32. Kling, F. (2010). The meeting of the waters: 7 global currents that will propel the future church (1st ed.). Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.Google Scholar
  33. Konopaske, R., Ivancevich, J., & Matteson, M. (2018). Organizational behavior & management (11th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  34. Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The leadership challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  35. Kumar, A., & Epley, N. (2018). Undervaluing gratitude: Expressers misunderstand the consequences of showing appreciation. Psychological Science, 29(9), 1423–1435.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618772506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. LaFasto, F. M. J., & Larson, C. E. (2001). When teams work best: 6,000 team members and leaders tell what it takes to succeed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Lambert, N. M., Clark, M. S., Durtschi, J., Fincham, F. D., & Graham, S. M. (2010). Benefits of expressing gratitude: Expressing gratitude to a partner changes one’s view of the relationship. Psychological Science, 21(4), 574–580.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610364003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lane, K. E., McCormack, T. J., & Richardson, M. D. (2013). Resilient leaders: Essential for organizational innovation. International Journal of Organizational Innovation, 6(2), 7–25.Google Scholar
  39. Light Shields, D. L., Gardner, D. E., Light Bredemeier, B. J., & Bostro, A. (1997). The relationship between leadership behaviors and group cohesion in team sports. The Journal of Psychology, 131(2), 196–210.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00223989709601964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lowe, K. B., Kroeck, K. G., & Sivasubramaniam, N. (1996). Effectiveness correlates of transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic review of the MLQ literature. The Leadership Quarterly, 7(3), 385–425.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1048-9843(96)90027-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mayfield, J., Mayfield, M., & Sharbrough, W. C. (2015). Strategic vision and values in top leaders’ communications: Motivating language at a higher level. International Journal of Business Communication, 52(1), 97–121.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488414560282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mayfield, M., & Mayfield, J. (2016). The effects of leader motivating language use on employee decision making. International Journal of Business Communication, 53(4), 465–484.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488415572787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maznevski, M. L., & Distefano, J. J. (2000). Global leaders are team players: Developing global leaders through membership on global teams. Human Resource Management, 39(2–3), 195–208.  https://doi.org/10.1002/1099050X(200022/23)39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McGrath, S. K., & Whitty, S. J. (2018). Accountability and responsibility defined. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 11(3), 687–707.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-06-2017-0058.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nikolaou, I., Gouras, A., Vakola, M., & Bourantas, D. (2007). Selecting change agents: Exploring traits and skills in a simulated environment. Journal of Change Management, 7(3–4), 291–313.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14697010701779173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  47. Peterson, S. J., Balthazard, P. A., Waldman, D. A., & Thatcher, R. W. (2008). Neuroscientific implications of psychological capital: Are the brains of optimistic, hopeful, confident, and resilient leaders different? Organizational Dynamics, 37(4), 342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Peus, C., Wesche, J. S., Streicher, B., Braun, S., & Frey, D. (2012). Authentic leadership: An empirical test of its antecedents, consequences, and mediating mechanisms. Journal of Business Ethics, 107(3), 331–348.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-1042-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. (2006). Hard facts, dangerous half-truths, and total nonsense: Profiting from evidence-based management. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  50. Pisano, G. P. (2019). The hard truth about innovative cultures. Harvard Business Review, 1(97), 62–71.Google Scholar
  51. Pittard, J. (2015). Resolute conciliations. The Philosophical Quarterly, 65(260), 442–463.  https://doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqv022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Runco, M. A. (2004). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 55(1), 657–687.  https://doi.org/10.1146/55.090902.141502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schweitzer, M. E., Ordóñez, L., & Douma, B. (2004). Goal setting as a motivator of unethical behavior. The Academy of Management Journal, 47(3), 422–432.  https://doi.org/10.2307/20159591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sivasubramaniam, N., Murry, W. D., Avolio, B. J., & Jung, D. I. (2002). A longitudinal model of the effects of team leadership and group potency on group performance. Group and Organization Management, 27(1), 66–96.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601102027001005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sweeny, T. J. (2009). Adlerian counseling and psychotherapy: A practitioner’s approach. New York: Taylor & Francis.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tebeian, A. E. (2012). The impact of motivation through leadership on group performance. Revista de Management Comparat International, 13(2), 313.Google Scholar
  57. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across culture. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  58. van Ginkel, W. P., & van Knippenberg, D. (2012). Group leadership and shared task representations in decision making groups. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(1), 94–106.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.11.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. van Woerkum, C. M. J., Aarts, M. N. C., & de Grip, K. (2007). Creativity, planning and organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 20(6), 847–865.  https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810710831055.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wong, Y. J. (2015). The psychology of encouragement: Theory, research, and applications. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(2), 178–216.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000014545091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yukl, G. A. (2013). Leadership in organizations (Vol. 8). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  62. Zhu, W., He, H., Treviño, L., Chao, M., & Wang, W. (2015). Ethical leadership and follower voice and performance: The role of follower identifications and entity morality beliefs. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(5), 702–718.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2015.01.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Gregory
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Worship CenterSanta FeUSA

Personalised recommendations