Leadership in an Information Society

Abstract: After surveying the evolution of the leader’s role as a generalist, Cleveland discusses how information has replaced material things as the major resource that must be managed, and he goes on to discuss how attempting to manage information using techniques developed to manage things will cause trouble for leaders. He considers some of the social changes that will be necessary for a successful transition to leadership in an information-dominated world, suggesting that schooling at all levels, education must integrate formerly distinct branches of knowledge and emphasize global causes and effects; he suggests further that the best use to which society can put older members of the work force may well be to continue to use their accumulated wisdom.


The Knowledge Dynamic 19
The Twilight of Hierarchy 37
Costs and Benefits of Openness 51

Harlan Cleveland has founded and led a variety of institutions and held many leadership positions over a long and illustrious career. After World War II, he managed postwar relief and rehabilitation for the U.N., first in Italy then in China, and was thereafter a top official in the Marshall Plan. He was executive editor, then publisher, of The Reporter magazine in New York, and dean of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship. President John F. Kennedy appointed him Assistant Secretary of State for U.N. and other international organizations; President Lyndon B. Johnson sent him to Europe as U.S. Ambassador to NATO. He was then, successively, president of the University of Hawaii, director of International Affairs at the Aspen Institute, and founding dean of the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He is currently a board member of the American Refugee Committee, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, and the World Future Society, and president emeritus of the World Academy of Art and Science.

Cleveland, H. (1985): The Knowledge Executive: Leadership in an Information Society. Truman Talley Books, 1985, 261 pages, ISBN-10: 0525243070, ISBN-13: 978-0525243076

Copyright © Truman Talley Books. All rights reserved.

Related articles:

  • John Leslie King, James N. Danziger, Debora E. Dunkle and Kenneth L. Kraemer: In Search of the Knowledge Executive: Managers, Microcomputers, and Information Technology. State and Local Government Review, Vol. 24, No. 2 (A Symposium: Computer Impacts in State and Local Governments), Spring, 1992, pp. 48-57 Purchase »

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