A Multilevel Systems Model of Leadership

Angelo J. Kinicki
Kathryn J. L. Jacobson
Benjamin M. Galvin
Gregory E. Prussia

This study uses a control theory to develop a multilevel systems model of leadership. The model outlines the processes that senior leaders can use to influence others across hierarchical levels of management and clarifies the mechanisms that link leadership across levels of management—goal cascading, alignment, and the bypass channel of communication. The authors discuss leadership behaviors needed to effectively influence others across a cybernetic process of leadership. Embedded within the multilevel systems model of leadership is a micro-level cybernetic model that focuses on the temporal process that leaders use to influence individuals in the pursuit of goal achievement.