Uhl-Bien Mary

Mary Uhl-Bien Honored with Leadership Quarterly’s Decennial Award

You could call it the research of the decade. Uhl-Bien’s work on complexity leadership has earned accolades for having a substantial impact for 10 years and counting. 

September 15,  2017

By Elaine Cole

When research makes an impact that lasts 10 years, it deserves an award. 

Leadership Quarterly announces the first Decennial Award for an article that has had and continues to have substantial impact 10 years after it was published. The honor goes to “Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting Leadership from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Era,” published in 2007 in The Leadership Quarterly and written by Mary Uhl-Bien, the BNSF Railway Endowed Profess of Leadership at TCU, and her colleagues. 

The Leadership Quarterly editorial team established a short list of five articles based on citations received 10 years after publication, and then selected the article that was most influential on academia and best reflects the journal’s methodological and theoretical rigor.

But the accolades don’t stop there. Leadership Quarterly is making the award retroactive back to 1990, which means Uhl-Bien receives another Decennial Award for her 1995 research, “Relationship-Based Approach to Leadership: Development of Leader-Member Exchange Theory of Leadership Over 25 Years: Applying a Multi-Level Multi-Domain Perspective,” which also made a 10-year-plus impact. 

“Both are seminal works on complexity theory in management and leader-member exchange, the latter of which is one of the most researched theories on leadership,” said Hettie Richardson, chair the department of management, entrepreneurship and leadership at the TCU Neeley School of Business. 

Uhl-Bien is a renowned leader and researcher on complexity leadership, relational leadership and followership. She teaches leadership at the TCU undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels, and the BNSF Neeley Leadership Program for outstanding undergraduates. She is a sought-after speaker and consultant for news organizations, health care systems, universities and corporations around the world. 

Uhl-Bien has published more than 50 articles and manuscripts, five books and a textbook on organizational behavior. Her research has been funded with grants from Booz Allen Hamilton, and she has conducted research in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, Disney, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Stryker and the U.S. Air Force Academy. 

Uhl-Bien joined TCU Neeley in 2014. She holds a PhD, MBA and BBA from the University of Cincinnati.