Organisations are deeply entrenched in complex contextual discontinuities where they have to
deal with both internal and external stimuli by implementing practices and behaviours that
direct them towards adaptation. A web of the forces that encapsulate the operating
environment includes dynamic economic uncertainty, deepening regulative frameworks, evershifting
employee empowerment-based labor practices, and entrenched geopolitical
disruptions compounded by debilitating ecological disturbances. As such, given such tension
saturated complex contexts, organisations need to create the capabilities to adapt to converge
with the emerging discontinuous contexts continuously. On the one hand, many firms struggle
to establish this capability, leaving a trail of the multiple obsolescent organisations. On the
other side, a few have been able to thrive and see opportunities where others are not looking.
The emerging contexts can be dramatic and complex; in many ways, sustaining confounding
complex societal shifts. The context places massive implications on the type of leadership
practices that firms have to recruit to deal with the pursuant complexity required to capacitate
firms to adapt. More knowledge is thus needed to understand how leaders can play a role in
influencing their firms to build the organisational adaptability capability. The study leans on the
potent Complexity Science and is inspired by the Complexity Leadership Theory whose
complexity practices could help leaders deal with environmental complexity. In an empirical
formulation, the research delineates the first order Complexity Leadership Theory into Second-
Order Constructs. It demonstrates that leaders can recruit the necessary complexity leadership
principles and practices when moderated by Dramatic Social Change complexities to bring
about their firms' needful convergence with obtaining complex contexts. This environmental
convergence typifies Organisational Adaptability on a panoramic level of the organisation;
internally, at the market and institutional levels, depending on the leader motives.
The study formulates recommendations for the boundary conditions under which each or a
combination of the complexity leadership practices will bring about the appropriate level of
adaptability, whether the contextual complexity is a consequence of persistent trends that are
infrequent and large, or the complexities are frequent yet offer fleeting opportunities.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2020.