In the behavior approach to leadership, this theory identifies aspects of the organization, the work, and the employees that can form a substitute for supervision. An intrinsically rewarding career, for example, might create an alternative for people-oriented behavior, while structured tasks can substitute task-oriented leadership behavior. Professionalism, based on extensive training, can be an alternative to the study and people-oriented demeanor; there could be less need for leadership in military organizations. Other theories espouse such a leadership style, such as Robert Greenleaf’s theory of servant leadership, but these theories do not get much attention in most militaries. Sometimes for valid reasons, as these theories can be somewhat unclear and undefined.
The interdependencies between people in their work roles and the technological artifacts they use to get the work done. A successful strategy can adapt to the turbulence of the outside world, and it is the people in their work roles who do most of the adapting. Inflexible or Centralized leadership is an obstacle to adaptive behavior. According to De Sitter, sociotechnical organization design moves from complex organizations offering simple jobs to simple organizations offering difficult jobs.