Mutiny And Its Bounty: Leadership Lessons From The Age Of Discovery

Hardcover | March 19, 2013

byPatrick J. Murphy, Ray W. Coye

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Violent mutiny was common in seafaring enterprises during the Age of Discovery—so common, in fact, that dealing with mutineers was an essential skill for captains and other leaders of the time. Mutinies in today’s organizations are much quieter, more social and intellectual, and far less violent, yet the coordinated defiance of authority springs from dissatisfactions very similar to those of long-ago shipboard crews. This highly original book mines seafaring logs and other archives of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century ship captains and discovers instructive lessons for today’s leaders facing challenges to their authority as well as for other members of organizations in which mutinous events occur.
 
The book begins by examining mutinies against great explorer captains of the Age of Discovery: Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Sebastian Cabot, and Henry Hudson. The authors then identify lessons that entrepreneurs, leaders, and other members may apply to organizational insurrections today. They find, surprisingly, that mutiny may be a force for good in an organization, paving the way to more collaborative leadership and stronger commitment to shared goals and values.

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From the Publisher

Violent mutiny was common in seafaring enterprises during the Age of Discovery—so common, in fact, that dealing with mutineers was an essential skill for captains and other leaders of the time. Mutinies in today’s organizations are much quieter, more social and intellectual, and far less violent, yet the coordinated defiance of authori...

Patrick J. Murphy is associate professor of management, DePaul University. He is chair of the Management History Division in the Academy of Management. He lives in Chicago, IL. Ray W. Coye is associate professor emeritus of management, DePaul University. He lives in Ferndale, WA. The authors each have maritime service backgrounds and s...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1.06 inPublished:March 19, 2013Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300170289

ISBN - 13:9780300170283

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From the Author

A conversation with Patrick MurphyQ:  Your book can be useful for leaders and entrepreneurs hoping to avoid a mutiny, but is it also a useful handbook for mutineers?A:  Yes, the book delineates some useful tenets. Seafarers in the Age of Discovery were extremely clever about mutiny and leadership in uncertain circumstances. They exemplified what makes today's best entrepreneurs successful. Mutinies both then and today entail early-stage secrecy and bottom-up strategic actions that threaten established elements in the environment. Entrepreneurs shake up markets, whereas mutineers shake up organizations.Q:  Which of the seafarers among those you studied faced the most intense mutiny?A:  Magellan, because of the steps he took to quell it. He actually faced three mutinies during his most famous enterprise. The second one was rather grisly. Our primary sources contain explicit details, which we retained to tell a richer story and reflect history as clearly as possible.Q:  What are some warning signs of mutiny that a leader should look out for?A:  A gap emerges between leaders and members. It happens without being intended. Eventually, a spokesperson emerges. His or her power and voice derive from the expression of members' shared values. A leader who does not share those values unintentionally does things to which coordinated mutinous action can be a natural response. Mutiny is rarely undertaken for its own sake or for destructive purposes. Yet Age of Discovery mutinies could be violent. Today’s mutinies are gentler but still intense. The underlying mechanism is identical.

Editorial Reviews

"This is an original, engaging and really well-written book that examines how leaders can deal with dissent in organizations. Murphy and Coye do fantastic work in exploring how 21st Century organizational mutinies can be the catalyst for organizational change and innovation."—TopExcutive Guide