Book: Understanding Leadership in Complex Systems: A Praxeological Perspective


Springer; 1st ed. 2016 edition (July 21, 2016)

Publication Type:



  • Dr. Terje Tonsberg
  • Dr. Jeffrey Henderson


 Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, Leadership, Subjective Theory of Value, Marginal Utility, Methodological Subjectivism, Methodological Individualism, Ends and Means, Praxeology, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Carl Menger, Friedrich von Hayek, Israel Kirzner, Alfred Schutz, Murray Rothbard.


Understanding Leadership in Complex Systems: A Praxeological Perspective


This work proposes that Carl Menger’s Subjective Theory of Value (STV), and its subsequent elaboration by Ludwig von Mises as Praxeology, provides a useful alternative to more common methods in the study of action and social phenomena, and more specifically, to leadership in complex social systems. Rather than being based on rationality assumptions and algorithmic predictability, the STV emphasizes transient subjectivity shaped by a complex world of lacking information, mistakes, disequilibrium, uncertainty and attempted error correction that defy mathematization and exact prediction. As such, it is a framework to make sense of human action systems in terms of subjective understanding, learning, and uncertainty, rather than quantitative predictability. Accordingly, the aim of this work is to explain the STV as a general theory of action and to demonstrate its capability in developing adequate qualitative theory and to elaborate on some of the major topics that its implications raise with regard to leadership. The power of the method can be seen in that its procedure naturally branches out to facilitate an understanding of a broad selection of processes and may provide the basis for a universal theory of leadership.

About The Authors

Dr. Tonsberg holds the position of Professor of Management at Monarch Business School Switzerland. Professionally, he has more than 20 years of experience in management, marketing, human resources, MIS and consulting in South East Asia and the Middle East. He is currently an advisor for Training and Career Development at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. Professor Tonsberg holds a D.Phil. in Business Research with distinction from Monarch Business School where he also earned a M.Phil. in Business Research with Great Distinction. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce with honors from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and has completed post-graduate studies in education at St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Dr. Jeffrey Henderson is the Dean of the Faculty at Monarch Business School Switzerland and Professor of Business Ethics. He holds a D.Phil. in Business Research from Monarch Business School Switzerland, a M.Sc. in Administration and International MBA from Nyenrode Unversiteit in The Netherlands as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. Dr. Henderson is an active professor of business ethics at Monarch Business School. He has also held the position of Adjunct Professor at The Grenoble Graduate School of Business as well as lecturer in Management at McGill University. His research focuses on Business Ethics, Catholic Social Theory and Austrian Economics.