A Personal Application of Kotter's (1990) Definition of Leadership

10 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2007 Last revised: 28 Oct 2010

See all articles by Aruna Kulatunga

Aruna Kulatunga

Monash Business School; Comunicamos.EU

Date Written: September 23, 2006


In examining Kotter (1990a, 1990b) through a taxonomic lens of leadership definitions, his central thesis is divided into two parts. Firstly, Kotter's dichotomy of managers and leaders is looked at and through this, a central theme of communication is developed. Secondly, Kotter's assertion that the essential function of leadership, "is to produce adaptive or useful change" is examined in relation to other contemporary leadership literature with the conclusion that leadership, like the fable of the elephant and the blind men will remain rich in its parts, but poor in its whole and furthermore, like in the fable of Jacob and his multi-coloured coat, multi-hued and even chameleonic is reached.

Keywords: Leader Servant Kotter Communication manager change leadership An integrated Definition of Leadership

JEL Classification: L00, M1, M12, M14, D70, D74, D78, D79, L14, M19

Suggested Citation

Kulatunga, Aruna and Kulatunga, Aruna, A Personal Application of Kotter's (1990) Definition of Leadership (September 23, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=976167 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.976167

Aruna Kulatunga (Contact Author)

Comunicamos.EU ( email )

Calle Camplona, 1, 2°B
El Espinardo, Murcia 30100

Monash Business School ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168

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