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We consider Complexity Leadership Theory (Uhl-Bien, Marion & McKelvey, 2007) in contexts of bureaucratic forms of organizing to describe how adaptive dynamics can work in combination with administrative functions to generate emergence and change in organizations. Complexity leadership approaches are consistent with the central assertion of the meso argument that leadership is multi-level, processual, contextual, and interactive. In this paper we focus on the adaptive function, an interactive process between adaptive leadership (an agentic behavior) and complexity dynamics (non-agentic social dynamics) that generates emergent outcomes (e.g., innovation, learning, adaptability) for the firm. Propositions regarding the actions of adaptive leadership and its enabling conditions are offered.