ESMT Case Study

Barenboim: Adaptive leadership (A)

ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-410-0107-1
Subject(s): Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s): adaptive leadership, leadership, adaptive change;change, resistence to change

The four-part case study (text cases A, B, C, and video case D) illustrates key concepts and lessons about leading adaptive change in the context of some extra-musical initiatives of Berlin-based and world-famous conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim. The case illustrates the challenges associated with resistance to adaptive change, understanding of stakeholders, management of conflicts, and the psychological challenges of leading unpopular, although important, change efforts under the conditions of pressure from various affected parties, who consciously or unconsciously attempt to divert the change-oriented leader from pushing forward. The case serves as fruitful ground for exploration of the theory of adaptive change (as put forward by Heifetz and Linsky), discussion of the dangers of leading, and psychological challenges of leading.

Teaching note Yes
Length 14p
Industry Music
Geographical setting Israel
Size 150
Setting period 1999–2007
Related Barenboim: Adaptive leadership (B)
Barenboim: Adaptive leadership (C)
Barenboim: Adaptive leadership (D)
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