CBS appoints Professor Mary Uhl-Bien as Honorary Doctor
Mary Uhl-Bien giving the inaugural lecture. Photo: Marianne Bom
In Denmark, an honorary doctorate is the highest distinction that a university can award a scholar. Mary Uhl-Bien’s research on complexity leadership theory, relational leadership and followership has appeared in top international journals, and she co-founded the Network of Leadership Scholars in the Academy of Management and has served as Chair at the Academy’s Organizational Behaviour Division.
Mary Uhl-Bien has been a frequent guest at the department of Management, Society and Communication, collaborating with MSC leadership colleagues for over eight years now and moving forward will support and inspire CBS’ strategic efforts in developing its research and teaching through the CBS-wide Leadership Initiative, of which MSC is a dedicated partner.
Mary Uhl-Bien’s path-breaking research and theorising on Complexity Leadership Theory enhances MSC/CBS efforts to draw connections between leadership research and issues of systems change, sustainability, green transitions, and grand social challenges.
At the ceremony, Mary Uhl-Bien also gave her inaugural lecture where she discussed the complexity challenge from the standpoint of how to enable the adaptive process in people and organisations.
The lecture began by explaining how complexity and the adaptive process differ from traditional understanding of leadership and followership and concluded by viewing complexity as an opportunity and not as a crisis. This can help people not only survive but thrive in complexity.
“I am so grateful to be receiving this honour from Copenhagen Business School. I have a special place in my heart for CBS due to the amazing colleagues and professional relationships I have developed here. Collaborations with scholars like Dr. Eric Guthey in the Department of Management, Science and Communication (MSC), and support from the Otto Mønsteds Foundation, have been instrumental in advancing complexity leadership research. The honorary doctorate and affiliation will allow me to continue to develop collaborations at CBS that enrich theoretical and practical understandings of complexity leadership and extend the work into new contexts,” said Professor Mary Uhl-Bien.