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From smart and corporate to urban and edgy: Revitalising organisations in turbulent environments

Maria Burke (University of Salford, Salford, UK)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




This paper aims to address issues surrounding the revitalising of organisations in turbulent environments.


The paper contains a discussion of relevant issues and presentation of research which considers how leaders today are choosing to function in a very uncertain environment, that of higher education.


The characteristics of urban and edgy organisations were all found to be evident in the leaders style in higher education. However, it was identified that this type of leadership rests on two critical axis–Knowledge management (shared and open) and the overarching style of leadership (empowerment and encouragement).

Research limitations/implications

This work is introductory and used a small sample as a pilot–further more extensive work is needed in this area.

Practical implications

This paper has introduced the idea of a new label for organisations which find themselves to be so full of diversity and differences that they can be characterised as being “on the edge” of danger–yet these organisations have found a way to be something which is separate from that of the urban character–important, flexible, dynamic, and playing a central role in development of new ideas.


The contribution made to the discipline of leadership is the introduction of a new way of looking at organisation–the work offers new ways of looking at established ideas, through new lenses which may assist leaders and all who work in large organisations.



Burke, M. (2008), "From smart and corporate to urban and edgy: Revitalising organisations in turbulent environments", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 16 No. 1/2, pp. 50-60.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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