Management Leadership Development
David Day, Darja Miscenko
  • LAST REVIEWED: 01 March 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 May 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0092


The scientific study of leadership development examines how individuals and collectives develop greater capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes. Embedded in this general description are different levels of analyses. When the focus is on developing individuals the appropriate referent is leader development, whereas the development of collective leadership capacity is termed leadership development. In general, more attention has been paid to the field from the perspective of practice (i.e., identifying processes, practices, and interventions designed to enhance the development of leaders and leadership) than to scholarly approaches, although the latter have begun receiving greater attention. The leadership development field differs from that of leadership in that the former is less concerned with identifying which particular theory of leadership is most supported. Instead, the primary focus is on change and development that enhances the potential for greater leadership effectiveness. As noted, leader development focuses on the development of individuals as leaders (including their self-views, skills, and abilities), whereas leadership development involves developing a broader shared capacity for engaging in leadership processes. We distinguish between these two broader focus areas wherever possible.


Most of the books on leadership development have more practical rather than academic emphasis, and there are no standard textbooks on the topic. McCall, et al. 1988 is an early landmark book in the field that advanced thinking on the importance of work experiences over formal programs and other classroom approaches in facilitating leader development. Conger and Benjamin 1999 examines best practices from high-profile organizations that are used to develop leadership talent at all levels. Taking a more holistic perspective, Vicere and Fulmer 1998 addresses the issue of strategic leadership development that links leader development practices with organizational strategy in enhancing learning and development in organizations. Hill 2003 uses a qualitative interview methodology with first-time managers to explore the core leadership challenges that are faced in becoming a leader. Espousing the belief that leaders are mainly made through experience and practice and not born to lead, Avolio 2005 advances the topic of authentic leadership development in practical and accessible language. Yost and Plunkett 2009 offers practical advice and research-based tools designed to enhance leader development that occurs in the context of ongoing work. Adopting a more scholarly tone, Day, et al. 2009 theorizes on leader development processes, integrating across various literatures in proposing that more-observable forms of development (leadership skills and competencies) are supported by deeper and less observable forces of identity and self-regulation that are embedded in ongoing adult development. The third edition of an influential handbook of leadership development (Van Velsor, et al. 2010) summarizes the core learnings and practices of researchers and trainers at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). A more recent practice-based offering on how organizations can best use on-the-job experiences to enhance leader development is McCauley, et al. 2014. The book consists mainly of very brief applied cases illustrating various contextually based approaches to the development of leaders and more-effective leadership.

  • Avolio, Bruce J. Leadership Development in Balance: Made/Born. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This book promotes an understanding of what the author calls authentic leadership development, based on the notion that leaders are primarily made rather than born (i.e., nurture rather than nature). Through understanding and implementing the principles of authentic leadership development, the book also promises the possibility of developing one’s full leadership potential.

    Find this resource:

  • Conger, Jay A., and Beth Benjamin. Building Leaders: How Successful Companies Develop the Next Generation. Jossey-Bass Business & Management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors examine what they consider to be best practices of companies for developing leaders at every organizational level. Presented and reviewed are skill sets that are proposed as “must have” competencies needed to lead effectively. Also identified are organizational values that promote leadership, successful strategic interventions, and detailed reviews of successful leadership development plans.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V., Michelle M. Harrison, and Stanley M. Halpin. An Integrative Approach to Leader Development: Connecting Adult Development, Identity, and Expertise. New York: Psychology Press, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In an attempt to advance theory around leadership development, the authors of this book provide an integrative approach based in theory and research from the fields of adult development, identity and identification, and expert performance. There are thirteen general propositions that comprise a minimum of five hypotheses per proposition. As such, an overarching objective is to advance research in addition to theory in the field of leadership development.

    Find this resource:

  • Hill, Linda A. Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership. 2d ed. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This book provides an evidence-based perspective on the leadership challenges new managers face in their first year on the job. The sample is relatively small (N=19), but the qualitative data are fairly rich and reinforce the notion that so-called people challenges are at the heart of learning to manage and become a leader.

    Find this resource:

  • McCall, Morgan W., Michael M. Lombardo, and Ann M. Morrison. The Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This is a classic in the field of leadership development in promoting the perspective that it is experience, and especially challenging experience, that is the most potent force for developing as a leader.

    Find this resource:

  • McCauley, Cynthia D., D. Scott DeRue, Paul R. Yost, and Sylvester Taylor, eds. Experience-Driven Leader Development: Models, Tools, Best Practices, and Advice for On-the-Job Development. San Francisco: Wiley, 2014.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Taking mainly a best-practice perspective, the authors of the various chapters demonstrate how organizations can use on-the-job experiences to enhance the development of their leaders as well as bring about more-effective leadership. The book comprises over eighty minicases, each no more than a few pages long, that concisely summarize the most-important tools, techniques, processes, and other practical resources to enhance leader development.

    Find this resource:

  • Van Velsor, Ellen, Cynthia D. McCauley, and Marian N. Ruderman, eds. The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development. 3d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Now in its third edition, the handbook is an important resource summarizing key perspectives of researchers and practitioners from the CCL. It is perhaps best considered as a translational resource that helps the reader understand some of the core thinking and practices from CCL and how they can be used to enhance development of leaders and leadership.

    Find this resource:

  • Vicere, Albert A., and Robert M. Fulmer. Leadership by Design. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The notion of strategic leadership development is advanced in this book as a way to enhance overall organizational effectiveness. It argues that the most-effective leadership development programs are linked with organizational strategy that focus on enhancing learning across all levels of an organization. The focus of the book sets it apart from most others in the field in that it examines organizational structures and processes that enhance learning and development, rather than taking an individual-based perspective.

    Find this resource:

  • Yost, Paul R., and Mary Mannion Plunkett. Real Time Leadership Development. Talent Management Essentials. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    As part of the publisher’s Talent Management Essentials series, this book offers guidance and tools based on research as well as practice to leverage experience-based development. The focus is on development in the ongoing context of work rather than through programs or classroom experiences. The approach and presentation are accessible and designed mainly for the practicing manager.

    Find this resource:

Reference Sources

Books and academic journals provide the best source of information. Both types of sources range from academic in orientation to highly practice based.


Journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, The Leadership Quarterly, and Personnel Psychology publish scholarly articles on leadership development. More practitioner-oriented journals such as Harvard Business Review and Organizational Dynamics publish relevant and generally accessible articles on leadership development.


The exact origins of leadership development as a discipline are difficult to pinpoint. The earliest of these was a self-help book authored by Grenville Kleiser (Kleiser 1923) that comprises twenty-eight self-development exercises for enhancing personal characteristics thought to be related to effective leadership (e.g., self-confidence, willpower, personal magnetism). Skipping ahead several decades, Douglas Bray and colleagues summarized the results of one of the first organization-specific studies of managerial (i.e., leader) development, based mainly on the assessment center method (Bray, et al. 1974). Another pivotal contribution was the lessons-of-experience study by Morgan McCall and colleagues (McCall, et al. 1988), later interpreted by researchers at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to suggest that at least 70 percent of developmental impact stems from on-the-job experiences. In 1998, CCL researchers published the first handbook of leadership development (McCauley, et al. 1998). A particular emphasis was on the role of multisource or 360-degree feedback for developmental purposes.

  • Bray, Douglas W., Richard J. Campbell, and Donald L. Grant. Formative Years in Business: A Long-Term AT & T Study of Managerial Lives. New York: Wiley, 1974.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Follows the career development of AT & T managers across two time points separated by eight years.

    Find this resource:

  • Kleiser, Grenville. Training for Power and Leadership. New York: George H. Doran, 1923.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides self-development exercises to enhance personal characteristics associated with leadership. Republished as recently as 2007 (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger).

    Find this resource:

  • McCall, Morgan W., Michael M. Lombardo, and Ann M. Morrison. The Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors of this book challenged the assumption that leadership skills are innate. Through interviews with successful executives, a better understanding was gained about the important role of job experiences in fostering leader development.

    Find this resource:

  • McCauley, Cynthia D., Russ S. Moxley, and Ellen Van Velsor, eds. The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The first edition of this handbook summarizes and integrates much of what researchers and trainers at the CCL have come to understand about leadership development.

    Find this resource:

Research Reviews

The authors of Burke and Day 1986 conducted a first meta-analysis on the effectiveness of managerial training—a field related to leadership development. Across seventy training studies, results suggested on average that managerial training is moderately effective for improving learning, behavior, and objective results. Scholarly interest in leadership development began to form around 2000, with Day 2000 providing a review of the literature “in context.” In a conceptual review on the development of global leaders, Caligiuri 2006 argues that managers differentially benefit from intercultural training or a particular development experience depending on their individual aptitudes. Collins and Holton 2004 updates the results of Michael Burke and Russell Day by meta-analyzing the studies on managerial leadership development published from 1982 to 2001. The authors found interventions with knowledge outcomes to be most effective. Avolio, et al. 2009 reports on the most recent large-scale meta-analysis of the leadership intervention literature across two hundred laboratory and field studies. Results for development interventions suggested generally overall positive impact, but this varied as a function of moderators such as type of leadership theory. More-recent narrative reviews of the leadership development field are provided in Day, et al. 2014 and Day and Dragoni 2015.

  • Avolio, Bruce J., Rebecca J. Reichard, Sean T. Hannah, Fred O. Walumbwa, and Adrian Chan. “A Meta-analytic Review of Leadership Impact Research: Experimental and Quasi-experimental Studies.” Leadership Quarterly 20.5 (2009): 764–784.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A comprehensive, quantitative review of the literature on leadership interventions was conducted by using meta-analyses. The authors sought to answer the question of whether leadership interventions have the intended impact, and, if so, to what degree? Overall, results suggested that such interventions have impact but that the magnitude of that impact is variable.

    Find this resource:

  • Burke, Michael J., and Russell R. Day. “A Cumulative Study of the Effectiveness of Managerial Training.” Journal of Applied Psychology 71.2 (1986): 232–245.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This is an early application of meta-analytic procedures to the empirical literature on managerial training. A specific form of leadership training based on Fielder’s contingency theory (i.e., leader match) was found to have stronger effects compared with other leadership-training programs. Despite encouraging future applications of leader match training, there is little early-21st-century interest in the intervention.

    Find this resource:

  • Caligiuri, Paula. “Developing Global Leaders.” In Special Issue: The New World of Work and Organizations. Human Resource Management Review 16.2 (2006): 219–228.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this conceptual paper, it is argued that the training and experiences needed to develop leaders who can effectively perform global leadership tasks and activities depend on the level of human capital (e.g., knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics) that a leader possesses.

    Find this resource:

  • Collins, Doris B., and Elwood F. Holton III. “The Effectiveness of Managerial Leadership Development Programs: A Meta-analysis of Studies from 1982 to 2001.” Human Resource Development Quarterly 15.2 (2004): 217–248.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Updates the results of Burke and Day 1986 by meta-analyzing eighty-three studies to determine the effectiveness of the formal managerial training interventions at the individual, group, or organizational levels. Findings suggest that intervention had the biggest impact on knowledge outcomes, and the least impact on system outcomes.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V. “Leadership Development: A Review in Context.” In Special Issue: Yearly Review of Leadership. Leadership Quarterly 11.4 (2000): 581–613.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This narrative review examines the field of leadership development through three contextual lenses. One lens views the difference between leader development and leadership development (conceptual context), the second lens reviews how state-of-the-art development is being conducted in the context of ongoing organizational work (practice context), and the third lens summarizes previous research with implications for leadership development (research context).

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V., and Lisa Dragoni. “Leadership Development: An Outcome-Oriented Review Based on Time and Levels of Analyses.” Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior 2 (2015): 133–156.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The focus of this review is on the development of leadership in individuals, dyads, and teams and organizations. It also identifies a preliminary set of proximal and distal signs that indicate leadership may be developing. Experiences, interventions, and interactions are proposed as factors that can enhance the leadership development process.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V., John W. Fleenor, Leanne E. Atwater, Rachel E. Sturm, and Rob A. McKee. “Advances in Leader and Leadership Development: A Review of 25 Years of Research and Theory.” Leadership Quarterly 25.1 (2014): 63–82.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Reviews theory and research on leadership development and related topics (e.g., 360-degree feedback, self-other rating agreement) over the previous twenty-five years, focusing on articles published in the Leadership Quarterly, cited under Journals.

    Find this resource:

Leader Development: Self-Views

Motivation to lead, leader self-efficacy, and leader identity determine whether individuals perceive themselves as leaders. These constructs can serve as proximal indicators of more-distal leader development outcomes, such as effectiveness. Thus, developing a leader’s self-views is an important aspect of leader development. To date, most of the literature on self-views in leader development has been conceptual or theoretical in nature. More-empirical research is being published, offering evidence in addition to theory related to leader development processes.

Motivation to Lead

Chan and Drasgow 2001 first conceptualized and provided empirical tests of a motivation-to-lead construct. More recently, Kark and Van Dijk 2007 offers a conceptual extension, suggesting that self-regulatory focus and values would influence motivation to lead and leadership behavior. Guillén, et al. 2015 extends this work by suggesting that context (specifically, social comparison) plays as important a role in the development of motivation to lead as do personality characteristics.

  • Chan, Kim-Yin, and Fritz Drasgow. “Toward a Theory of Individual Differences and Leadership: Understanding the Motivation to Lead.” Journal of Applied Psychology 86.3 (2001): 481–498.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes and provides initial tests of a motivation-to-lead construct comprising affective-identity, noncalculative, and social-normative motives. Motivation to lead was shown to predict leadership outcomes incremental to leader intelligence, personality, values, and attitudes. Overall, the research is framed around providing a theoretical framework for understanding individual differences in leader behavior and development.

    Find this resource:

  • Guillén, Laura, Margarita Mayo, and Konstantin Korotov. “Is Leadership a Part of Me? A Leader Identity Approach to Understanding the Motivation to Lead.” Leadership Quarterly 26.5 (2015): 802–820.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A noteworthy empirical investigation on the role of social comparison in the development of motivation to lead. Findings from multiple studies suggest that self-comparisons both with concrete, influential leaders and with more-general representations of leaders positively relate to motivation to lead.

    Find this resource:

  • Kark, Ronit, and Dina Van Dijk. “Motivation to Lead, Motivation to Follow: The Role of the Self-Regulatory Focus in Leadership Processes.” Academy of Management Review 32.2 (2007): 500–528.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In a theoretical review article, it is proposed that leaders’ “promotion versus prevention” self-regulatory focus (along with their values) influences motivation to lead and their leadership behavior. It is also suggested that leaders can influence the motivational self-regulatory foci of their followers, which mediates follower outcomes at the individual and group levels.

    Find this resource:

Leader Self-Efficacy

Hannah, et al. 2012 reviews the literature on leader efficacy and promotes a construct of Leader Self and Means Efficacy (LSME) that includes self-efficacy, but also the efficient use of external resources. A different review piece, Hannah, et al. 2008, suggests that together with follower and collective efficacies, leader efficacy contributes to the development of leadership efficacy. Quigley 2013, a longitudinal study, finds that personality traits and cognitive ability relate to the initial level and changes in leadership efficacy over time. Finally, Lester, et al. 2011 empirically tests the effect of mentoring on the development of leader self-efficacy.

  • Hannah, Sean T., Bruce J. Avolio, Fred Luthans, and Peter D. Harms. “Leadership Efficacy: Review and Future Directions.” In Special Issue: Yearly Review of Leadership. Leadership Quarterly 19.6 (2008): 669–692.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this review article, the authors extend the notion of leader efficacy to an expanded, multilevel framework for understanding leadership efficacy that includes leader, follower, and collective efficacies.

    Find this resource:

  • Hannah, Sean T., Bruce J. Avolio, Fred O. Walumbwa, and Adrian Chan. “Leader Self and Means Efficacy: A Multi-component Approach.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 118.2 (2012): 143–161.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    LSME is promoted as leaders’ perceived capability to self-regulate their thoughts and motivation as well as to draw from means in their environment to act successfully as a leader. The purpose of the research presented in this article was to demonstrate the construct validity of LSME and to test relationships with potential outcomes across five different studies and samples.

    Find this resource:

  • Lester, Paul B., Sean T. Hannah, Peter D. Harms, Gretchen R. Vogelgesang, and Bruce J. Avolio. “Mentoring Impact on Leader Efficacy Development: A Field Experiment.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 10.3 (2011): 409–429.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2010.0047Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examined the effects of a targeted mentoring program on protégés’ leader efficacy and performance across a six-month time frame. Mentoring—as compared with a more general leadership education program—increased leader efficacy, which in turn positively predicted rated performance as a leader.

    Find this resource:

  • Quigley, Narda R. “A Longitudinal, Multilevel Study of Leadership Efficacy Development in MBA Teams.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 12.4 (2013): 579–602.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2011.0524Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In a longitudinal study of self-directed master of business administration (MBA) teams, the author explored the development of leadership efficacy (i.e., confidence in one’s ability to lead) over time. Two aspects of leadership efficacy were examined, including an individual-level variable as well as team-level dispersion. Leader extraversion and cognitive ability were predictors of initial level of leadership efficacy, whereas emotional stability, agreeableness, and openness to experience were predictors of the change in leadership efficacy over time.

    Find this resource:

Leader Identity

In the early 21st century, leader identity (or the self-perception as a leader) has become a popular construct in the leadership development literature. Day and Harrison 2007 promotes the importance of leader identity for leadership development at different hierarchical levels. Komives, et al. 2006 provides an early empirical test and maps the stages of leader identity development among college students. Extending this line of work, DeRue and Ashford 2010 conceptualizes identity construction as a dynamic process that unfolds between leaders and followers. In a similar vein, using a social-constructionism lens, Carroll and Levy 2010 and Nicholson and Carroll 2013 explore identity construction and deconstruction in the context of leadership development programs. Finally, Gagnon and Collinson 2014 adopts a critical organizational perspective to explore the role of identity in global leadership development programs.

  • Carroll, Brigid, and Lester Levy. “Leadership Development as Identity Construction.” Management Communication Quarterly 24.2 (2010): 211–231.

    DOI: 10.1177/0893318909358725Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Social constructionism was chosen as a lens through which to view leadership development. In particular, leadership participants are viewed as subjects and objects in development. Of importance is a so-called space of action, where identity work related to leadership development is visible. An emphasis is placed on sites, discourses, and practices that allow participants to work in flexible, dynamic, and plural ways with identity.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V., and Michelle M. Harrison. “A Multilevel, Identity-Based Approach to Leadership Development.” In Special Issue: The Future of Leadership Development. Human Resource Management Review 17.4 (2007): 360–373.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2007.08.007Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The article explores concepts related to levels of analysis and identity in promoting an integrated leadership development system. Individual and relational leadership identities are thought to be the focus of developmental efforts at lower organizational levels, whereas collective identities become the focus at higher levels (e.g., general manager and above). In fostering more-collective identities of leaders, boundary-spanning processes are thought to be especially important.

    Find this resource:

  • DeRue, D. Scott, and Susan J. Ashford. “Who Will Lead and Who Will Follow? A Social Process of Leadership Identity Construction in Organizations.” Academy of Management Review 35.4 (2010): 627–647.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMR.2010.53503267Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Conceptualizes a dynamic social process of claiming and granting leader identity. Through this dynamic process, individuals internalize a leader identity or follower identity, which are relationally recognized and collectively endorsed within the organizational context.

    Find this resource:

  • Gagnon, Suzanne, and David Collinson. “Rethinking Global Leadership Development Programmes: The Interrelated Significance of Power, Context and Identity.” Organization Studies 35.5 (2014): 645–670.

    DOI: 10.1177/0170840613509917Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Adopts an organizational rather than individual perspective in attempting to advance leadership development theory. A critical organizational framing lens is used to explore ways in which power, context, and identity become linked within leadership development programs and practices.

    Find this resource:

  • Komives, Susan R., Susan D. Longerbeam, Julie E. Owen, Felicia C. Mainella, and Laura Osteen. “A Leadership Identity Development Model: Applications from a Grounded Theory.” Journal of College Student Development 47.4 (2006): 401–418.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2006.0048Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a stage-based model of leadership identity development based on a grounded-theory study of student leadership development. The stages range from relatively naive understanding of leadership (i.e., awareness), through exploration and engagement, identification, and differentiated leadership, to generativity. In this last stage, leaders can look beyond themselves and express a passion for the commitment and care of others (i.e., followers).

    Find this resource:

  • Nicholson, Helen, and Brigid Carroll. “Identity Undoing and Power Relations in Leadership Development.” Human Relations 66.9 (2013): 1225–1248.

    DOI: 10.1177/0018726712469548Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Argues that there are identity work practices that are underexplored in leadership development. In particular, the deconstruction, unraveling, and letting go of certain aspects of identity are important in developing as a leader. Together these processes are termed “identity undoing”. Findings from an eighteenth-month ethnographic study of a leadership development program illustrate theoretical propositions.

    Find this resource:

Leader Development: Competencies and Skills

Leader development is thought to require changes in deeper-level mental structures and frameworks, such as self-views and identity, which in turn support the advancement of the observable, behavioral levels of leadership skills and competencies, where competencies are considered as bundles of more-specific skills.


The authors of Lord and Hall 2005 were among the first researchers to conceptualize leader development as an interaction among leadership skills, identity, and knowledge structures. However, it has been a challenge to define what leadership skills are; therefore, several taxonomies have been proposed. Early on, Hooijberg, et al. 1997 developed a Leaderplex model that promotes the benefit of behavioral (skill) complexity for leader effectiveness. Mumford, et al. 2007 offers a more detailed model of leadership skills (cognitive, interpersonal, business, and strategic). Mumford, et al. 2000 similarly proposes that the need for leadership skills will differ, depending on the organizational level.

  • Hooijberg, Robert, James G. Hunt, and George E. Dodge. “Leadership Complexity and Development of the Leaderplex Model.” Journal of Management 23.3 (1997): 375–408.

    DOI: 10.1177/014920639702300305Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An early comprehensive review of the cognitive, social, and behavioral aspects of leadership. Proposes a Leaderplex model, whereby cognitive and social complexity (each compromising differentiation and integration) influences behavioral complexity, defined as behavioral repertoire and differentiation. Ultimately, greater behavioral (or skill) complexity is proposed to enhance leader and organizational effectiveness.

    Find this resource:

  • Lord, Robert G., and Rosalie J. Hall. “Identity, Deep Structure and the Development of Leadership Skill.” In Special Issue: Leadership, Self, and Identity. Leadership Quarterly 16.4 (2005): 591–615.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.06.003Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Drawing on a general theory of learning and expertise, the authors propose that the development of leadership skills extends over time and requires associated changes in information processing and the underlying knowledge structures. Leaders are seen as transitioning from novice to intermediate to expert skill levels, and through the process leadership skills become more integrated with leaders’ identities.

    Find this resource:

  • Mumford, Michael D., Michelle A. Marks, Mary S. Connelly, Stephen J. Zaccaro, and Roni Reiter-Palmon. “Development of Leadership Skills: Experience and Timing.” Leadership Quarterly 11.1 (2000): 87–114.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Argues that leaders require different skills at certain phases of their careers. Using findings from a cross-sectional study of US Army officers, proposes an organization-based model of leadership skill development, which occurs in a progressive, systematic fashion. Higher-rank leaders were found to possess more problem-solving skills, systems skills, and social skills.

    Find this resource:

  • Mumford, Troy V., Michael A. Campion, and Frederick P. Morgeson. “The Leadership Skills Strataplex: Leadership Skill Requirements across Organizational Levels.” Leadership Quarterly 18.2 (2007): 154–166.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2007.01.005Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a leadership skills strataplex model proposing that leaders at the higher organizational levels require higher levels of all leadership skills (cognitive, interpersonal, business, and strategic); however, requirements for different leadership skills differ across organizational levels (e.g., strategic skills are required in higher- but not lower-level positions).

    Find this resource:


The main focus of leadership competency literature has been on the factors that affect the development of various competencies. Antonakis, et al. 2011 critiques the long-held assumption that charisma is an innate, nonmalleable trait, and positions charisma as a competency that can be trained. Dragoni, et al. 2011 and Dragoni, et al. 2014 provide substantial empirical evidence on the factors (e.g., personality traits and work experiences) that influence executives’ strategic-thinking competency. Similarly, Caligiuri and Tarique 2012 demonstrates the development of a cross-cultural competency among global leaders.

  • Antonakis, John, Marika Fenley, and Sue Liechti. “Can Charisma Be Taught? Tests of Two Interventions.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 10.3 (2011): 374–396.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2010.0012Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors conducted a field study and a laboratory study to investigate whether a purposefully designed intervention could teach individuals to behave more charismatically. Results indicate that training had a significant effect on observers’ ratings of leader charisma. Furthermore, results suggest that changes in charisma following an intervention relate to leader outcomes (prototypicality and emergence).

    Find this resource:

  • Caligiuri, Paula, and Ibraiz Tarique. “Dynamic Cross-Cultural Competencies and Global Leadership Effectiveness.” In Special Issue: Leadership in a Global Context. Journal of World Business 47.4 (2012): 612–622.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2012.01.014Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using a broad sample of global leaders, the authors find that cross-cultural experiences (both organization-initiated and non-work-related) together with personality traits predict dynamic cross-cultural competencies (tolerance of ambiguity, cultural flexibility, and reduced ethnocentrism), which, in turn, affect global leadership effectiveness.

    Find this resource:

  • Dragoni, Lisa, In-Sue Oh, Paul E. Tesluk, Ozias A. Moore, Paul VanKatwyk, and Joy Hazucha. “Developing Leaders’ Strategic Thinking through Global Work Experience: The Moderating Role of Cultural Distance.” Journal of Applied Psychology 99.5 (2014): 867–882.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0036628Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using a sample of upper-level leaders, the reported study provides evidence for the importance of time spent in global work experiences in the development of their strategic-thinking competency. Further, greater cultural distance was found to enhance the effect of global experiences on strategic-thinking competency.

    Find this resource:

  • Dragoni, Lisa, In-Sue Oh, Paul VanKatwyk, and Paul E. Tesluk. “Developing Executive Leaders: The Relative Contribution of Cognitive Ability, Personality, and the Accumulation of Work Experience in Predicting Strategic Thinking Competency.” Personnel Psychology 64.4 (2011): 829–864.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01229.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Investigates the role of leaders’ cognitive ability, personality traits (extraversion and openness to experience), and accumulation of work experience (variety of roles and responsibilities in the key work activities) in predicting strategic-thinking competency. Findings based on multisource data from executives suggest that cognitive ability and accumulated work experience are relatively more important predictors, as compared to other variables studied.

    Find this resource:

Leader Development: Experience

Another important factor that contributes to leader development is work experiences that shape leaders’ self-views, skills, and competencies. One prominent perspective is that the accumulation of experience over time is the foundation of leader development. Challenging Assignments are a specific type of experience that is more purposeful in tailoring assignments to address developmental needs of leaders. Bettin and Kennedy 1990 provides early empirical confirmation of the positive relationship between leadership experience and performance. However, as McCall 2010 points out, different types of experiences might be more or less beneficial for leader development. To extend this proposition, Ligon, et al. 2008 studies bibliographies of outstanding leaders to identify early developmental experiences that would further relate to specific leadership style in adulthood. Similarly, Benjamin and O’Reilly 2011 investigates early leadership challenges among master of business administration (MBA) graduates. Goodall and Pogrebna 2015 suggests that the relevance of work experience to the current leaders’ position will determine their effectiveness. Finally, Popper and Amit 2009 offers some evidence that personality characteristics will determine the occurrence and effect of leadership experiences.

  • Benjamin, Beth, and Charles O’Reilly. “Becoming a Leader: Early Career Challenges Faced by MBA Graduates.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 10.3 (2011): 452–472.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2011.0002Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Investigates early leadership challenges to identify experiences that are critical to success in more-senior leadership roles. Three types of transitions (role, business, and personal) and four common leadership challenges (managing subordinates, relationships with peers and bosses, developing a leadership mindset, and coping with setbacks) were identified on the basis of in-depth interviews with MBA graduates.

    Find this resource:

  • Bettin, Patrick J., and John K. Kennedy Jr. “Leadership Experience and Leader Performance: Some Empirical Support at Last.” Leadership Quarterly 1.4 (1990): 219–228.

    DOI: 10.1016/1048-9843(90)90002-YSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An early empirical investigation of the relationship between leadership experiences and leader performance (as rated by subordinates) among a sample of US Army captains. Findings suggest that the relevance of experience is the most important predictor of a leader’s performance, whereas other measures of experience, such as time in service and number of positions held, do not relate to performance.

    Find this resource:

  • Goodall, Amanda H., and Ganna Pogrebna. “Expert Leaders in a Fast-Moving Environment.” Leadership Quarterly 26.2 (2015): 123–142.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2014.07.009Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes that leader effectiveness is determined by the possession of an expert knowledge, obtained through the relevant experiences. Longitudinal study among Formula 1 principals supported the “expert leader” hypothesis—leaders with longest relevant experiences (e.g., being an F1 driver) were found to be more effective (as measured by team performance in the race).

    Find this resource:

  • Ligon, Gina Scott, Samuel T. Hunter, and Michael D. Mumford. “Development of Outstanding Leadership: A Life Narrative Approach.” Leadership Quarterly 19.3 (2008): 312–334.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2008.03.005Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using a narrative analysis of 120 biographies of famous 20th-century leaders, the authors propose that different types of early-life developmental events are related to a particular leadership style (charismatic, ideological, or pragmatic) and orientation (socialized or personalized) in adulthood.

    Find this resource:

  • McCall, Morgan W., Jr. “Recasting Leadership Development.” Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice 3.1 (2010): 3–19.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1754-9434.2009.01189.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides seven conclusions stemming from the assertion that to the extent that leadership is learned it is learned through experience. Among these conclusions, it is argued that certain experiences matter more than others, challenge embedded in the experience matters, different types of experiences teach different lessons, jobs and assignments can be made more developmental, and learning takes place over time and is dynamic.

    Find this resource:

  • Popper, Micha, and Karin Amit. “Attachment and Leader’s Development via Experiences.” Leadership Quarterly 20.5 (2009): 749–763.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2009.06.005Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Drawing on attachment theory, the authors propose and test a developmental model of leaders. In a sample of male soldiers, the leader’s attachment style (especially, secure attachment) is found to influence trait anxiety and openness to experience, which in turn predict leadership experiences during childhood and early adulthood.

    Find this resource:

Development of Leader-Follower Relationships

Uhl-Bien 2006 reviews relational approaches to leadership development, which generally propose that establishing and maintaining a good relationship with their subordinates is an integral part of leaders’ development. Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) is the most influential leadership theory that describes the formation of a leader-subordinate relationship at the dyadic level. Although LMX often considers the member’s perspective in describing the relationship, the studies reviewed in this section offer an insight into leadership development though dyadic relationship building from a leader’s perspective. The authors of Bauer and Green 1996 conducted a longitudinal study and found that liking and similarity relate to the development of high-quality LMX. Nahrgang, et al. 2009 and Bauer, et al. 2006 find that personality traits (extraversion and agreeableness) also relate to the development of LMX. Liden, et al. 1993 demonstrates that a leader’s expectations of the subordinate are important for LMX development. Taking a different approach to relational leadership development, Gardner and Avolio 1998 considers how leaders use impression management tactics to build a charismatic leadership relationship with their subordinates.

  • Bauer, Talya N., Berrin Erdogan, Robert C. Liden, and Sandy J. Wayne. “A Longitudinal Study of the Moderating Role of Extraversion: Leader-Member Exchange, Performance, and Turnover during New Executive Development.” Journal of Applied Psychology 91.2 (2006): 298–310.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.91.2.298Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the role of extraversion in the socialization of senior-level executives. Results of a cross-lagged study suggest that extraversion moderates the relationship between LMX and performance, turnover intentions, and actual turnover (3.5 years post-entry), such that LMX was related to outcome measures for the individuals low in extraversion, but not for those high in extraversion.

    Find this resource:

  • Bauer, Talya N., and Stephen G. Green. “Development of Leader-Member Exchange: A Longitudinal Test.” Academy of Management Journal 39.6 (1996): 1538–1567.

    DOI: 10.2307/257068Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A longitudinal investigation of the development of LMX in a sample of new subordinates. Results show that an initial attraction develops between leaders and members who are similar in affect and personality, which leads to more task delegation and more favorable performance evaluation by the leader. Leader delegation–member performance cycles are proposed as central to the development of LMX.

    Find this resource:

  • Gardner, William L., and Bruce J. Avolio. “The Charismatic Relationship: A Dramaturgical Perspective.” Academy of Management Review 23.1 (1998): 32–58.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using dramaturgical and interactive perspectives, the authors examine the social construction of a charismatic relationship. A conceptual model suggests that leaders use impression management and situational assessment to assert their charismatic-leader identity on followers. Followers’ identity, values, and leadership views, among other factors, are proposed to influence their attribution of and identification with charismatic leaders.

    Find this resource:

  • Liden, Robert C., Sandy J. Wayne, and Dean Stilwell. “A Longitudinal Study on the Early Development of Leader-Member Exchanges.” Journal of Applied Psychology 78.4 (1993): 662–674.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.78.4.662Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A longitudinal study on the development of LMX in the first six months among newly hired subordinates and their immediate supervisors. Results suggest that leader and member expectations of each other, perceived similarity, and linking are stronger predictors of subsequent LMX ratings than are subordinate performance ratings.

    Find this resource:

  • Nahrgang, Jennifer D., Frederick P. Morgeson, and Remus Ilies. “The Development of Leader–Member Exchanges: Exploring How Personality and Performance Influence Leader and Member Relationships over Time.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 108.2 (2009): 256–266.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2008.09.002Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using a longitudinal design and advanced analytical methods (growth-curve modeling), examines the development of LMX quality over time in a sample of student dyads. Findings support the core proposition of the LMX theory that leaders form differentiated relationships with their members. Leader agreeableness and member extraversion were positively associated with LMX at the time of initial interaction, but performance affected the development of the relationships over time.

    Find this resource:

  • Uhl-Bien, Mary. “Relational Leadership Theory: Exploring the Social Processes of Leadership and Organizing.” In Special Issue: Yearly Review of Leadership. Leadership Quarterly 17.6 (2006): 654–676.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2006.10.007Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines two dominant perspectives on relational leadership: an entity perspective (individual attributes in the interpersonal relationships) and a relational perspective (a process of social construction of the relationships). Reviews leadership research relevant to the two perspectives. Develops a relational leadership theory as a framework that describes leadership as a social-influence process of emergent coordination and change.

    Find this resource:

Leadership Development: Team and Organization Level

Leadership development moves the focus from individual knowledge, skills, and abilities (i.e., human capital) to development based on relationships among people in a dyadic, team, or organization level (i.e., social capital). Day, et al. 2004 contains some of the earliest conceptual work advancing team leadership capacity and leadership development. There is more-recent conceptual work in DeRue 2011 on adaptive leadership theory and in Hannah, et al. 2011 on leadership and collective requisite complexity. Empirical research on phenomena related to leadership development in collectives is provided in Carson, et al. 2007, using social-network analysis, and a qualitative study of extreme action teams is in Klein, et al. 2006.

  • Carson, Jay B., Paul E. Tesluk, and Jennifer A. Marrone. “Shared Leadership in Teams: An Investigation of Antecedent Conditions and Performance.” Academy of Management Journal 50.5 (2007): 1217–1234.

    DOI: 10.2307/20159921Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    From the perspective of shared leadership, it is thought that leadership is a team property that is distributed among team members rather than focused on an individual leader. Factors found to predict the emergence of shared leadership include the internal team environment, shared purpose, social support, voice, and external coaching. The degree of shared leadership in the focal consulting teams that were studied was found to predict team performance, as rated by clients.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V., Peter Gronn, and Eduardo Salas. “Leadership Capacity in Teams.” Leadership Quarterly 15.6 (2004): 857–880.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.09.001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Leadership is considered in this conceptual article as an outcome of team processes that contribute resources that enhance team adaptation and performance in subsequent performance cycles. Through interactions, external leadership, teamwork, and team learning, it is thought that a shared or distributed capacity for leadership develops in teams. The components of team leadership are cast within an emerging inputs-mediators-outcomes-inputs (IMOI) framework grounded in the cyclical and ongoing nature of teams and organizations.

    Find this resource:

  • DeRue, D. Scott. “Adaptive Leadership Theory: Leading and Following as a Complex Adaptive Process.” Research in Organizational Behavior 31 (2011): 125–150.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.riob.2011.09.007Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article focuses on using recurring patterns of leading-following interactions to explain various emergent processes that facilitate groups in developing, adapting, and dynamic contexts. These interactions are thought to produce emergent leader-follower identities, relationships, and social structures. Instead of viewing individuals as leaders or followers, adaptive leadership theory focuses on a dynamic leading-following process.

    Find this resource:

  • Hannah, Sean T., Robert G. Lord, and Craig L. Pearce. “Leadership and Collective Requisite Complexity.” Organizational Psychology Review 1.3 (2011): 215–238.

    DOI: 10.1177/2041386611402116Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Requisite complexity pertains to the matching or fit of a collective’s complexity with that of the environment and is proposed as an important component of collective learning and adaptive performance. In terms of development of collective requisite complexity, social-regulation processes that include active goals, identity, and affect, in addition to formal and informal leadership processes, are the key factors within which dynamic complexity emerges.

    Find this resource:

  • Klein, Katherine J., Jonathan C. Ziegert, Andrew P. Knight, and Yan Xiao. “Dynamic Delegation: Shared, Hierarchical, and Deindividualized Leadership in Extreme Action Teams.” Administrative Science Quarterly 51.4 (2006): 590–621.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This qualitative investigation of the leadership of extreme-action medical teams engaged in emergency trauma activities suggested the system of the dynamic delegation: senior leaders rapidly and repeatedly delegate active leadership to more-junior leaders of the team and withdraw that active leadership role when deemed necessary. This type of improvisational leadership activity allows organizations to coordinate swiftly and perform reliably through engaging in flexibility-enhancing processes.

    Find this resource:

Tools for Leadership Development

The literature on leadership development broadly defined to also include leader development offers a number of specific tools and approaches that may facilitate the development of individual and possibly collective leadership capacity in organizations: feedback, mentoring and coaching, challenging assignments, and interventions. In this section, we describe more-popular tools mainly used for leader development that have been proposed in the literature: Feedback, Support, and Challenging Assignments.


Atwater and Waldman 1998 reviews studies on 360-degree feedback and concludes that it is a popular tool of leadership development among academics and practitioners. DeRue, et al. 2012 empirically documents the beneficial effects of feedback on leadership development. Seifert and Yukl 2010 similarly finds that multisource feedback has a positive effect on managerial-effectiveness ratings. Facteau, et al. 1998, however, suggests that the effects of feedback depend on its source; for example, only positive feedback from peers and subordinates was accepted. In contrast, Mayo, et al. 2012 finds that peer feedback generally affects the self-perception of leadership competencies.

  • Atwater, Leanne, and David Waldman. “360 Degree Feedback and Leadership Development.” Leadership Quarterly 9.4 (1998): 423–426.

    DOI: 10.1016/S1048-9843(98)90009-1Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides a brief overview of the studies addressing the use of 360-degree feedback tools in leadership development. Stresses the need for more research addressing the effects of 360-degree feedback on leader performance, leader behavior, organizational culture, and organizational performance.

    Find this resource:

  • DeRue, D. Scott, Jennifer D. Nahrgang, John R. Hollenbeck, and Kristina Workman. “A Quasi-experimental Study of After-Event Reviews and Leadership Development.” Journal of Applied Psychology 97.5 (2012): 997–1015.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0028244Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the effect of structured reflection by means of after-event reviews (AERs) in the process of experience-based leader development, by using quasi-experimental design. Findings suggest that the overall positive effect of AERs on leadership development was accentuated for the individuals with a higher level of conscientiousness, openness to experience, and emotional stability.

    Find this resource:

  • Facteau, Carolyn L., Jeffrey D. Facteau, Lynn C. Schoel, Joyce E. A. Russell, and Mark L. Poteet. “Reactions of Leaders to 360-Degree Feedback from Subordinates and Peers.” Leadership Quarterly 9.4 (1998): 427–448.

    DOI: 10.1016/S1048-9843(98)90010-8Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines factors that influence leaders’ reactions to 360-degree feedback, in a cross-lagged study among 220 supervising managers. Acceptance of peer and subordinate feedback was influenced by overall ratings. Organizational support and perceived rater ability related to perceived usefulness of subordinate feedback. Predictors for perceived usefulness of peer feedback were not identified.

    Find this resource:

  • Mayo, Margarita, Maria Kakarika, Juan Carlos Pastor, and Stéphane Brutus. “Aligning or Inflating Your Leadership Self-Image? A Longitudinal Study of Responses to Peer Feedback in MBA Teams.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 11.4 (2012): 631–652.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2010.0069Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines how peer feedback influences the self-evaluations of four leadership competencies (i.e., self-management, self-confidence, flexibility, and understanding) over time. Receiving peer ratings that are lower than self-ratings reduced individuals’ self-perceptions at subsequent times. Women were quicker than men in responding to peer feedback by aligning their self-ratings of leadership with their peers’ ratings.

    Find this resource:

  • Seifert, Charles F., and Gary Yukl. “Effects of Repeated Multi-source Feedback on the Influence Behavior and Effectiveness of Managers: A Field Experiment.” Leadership Quarterly 21.5 (2010): 856–866.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.07.012Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the conditions that facilitate the effectiveness of multisource feedback in a longitudinal field experiment. Managers who received behavioral feedback (on the use of influence behavior) two times used significantly more influence tactics with subordinates and peers and received higher effectiveness ratings from their bosses than did managers who received feedback just once.

    Find this resource:


Different forms of support are powerful tools in leadership development. Dragoni, et al. 2014 finds that leaders who are faced with challenges of role transition assimilate the role and perform better toward subordinates when having a supportive supervisor. In an experimental study, Ladegard and Gjerde 2014 discovers that participants who received coaching reported higher leadership outcomes. Muir 2014 qualitatively investigates the impact of mentoring on the development of leader identity.

  • Dragoni, Lisa, Haeseen Park, Jim Soltis, and Sheila Forte-Trammell. “Show and Tell: How Supervisors Facilitate Leader Development among Transitioning Leaders.” Journal of Applied Psychology 99.1 (2014): 66–86.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0034452Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes that supervisor support (conceptualized as modeling effective leadership behavior and providing relevant new job information) will facilitate leader development among early-career leaders transitioning into new roles. Transitioning leaders with supportive supervisors were found to accumulate an understanding of a role more quickly and to allocate more time toward motivating and inspiring others.

    Find this resource:

  • Ladegard, Gro, and Susann Gjerde. “Leadership Coaching, Leader Role-Efficacy, and Trust in Subordinates: A Mixed Methods Study Assessing Leadership Coaching as a Leadership Development Tool.” Leadership Quarterly 25.4 (2014): 631–646.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2014.02.002Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In an experimental study, leaders undergoing a six-month coaching program reported higher leader role efficacy and leaders’ trust in subordinates, when compared to a control group. The coaches’ facilitative behavior was positively related to the change both in leader role efficacy and trust in subordinates. In turn, increased trust in subordinates was related to lowered turnover intentions among subordinates.

    Find this resource:

  • Muir, Douglas. “Mentoring and Leader Identity Development: A Case Study.” Human Resource Development Quarterly 25.3 (2014): 349–379.

    DOI: 10.1002/hrdq.21194Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores the development of participants’ leader identity during the course of a formal mentoring program. A qualitative case study suggests that formal mentoring experience may be pivotal to the discovery and development of leader identity. Specifically, reflection on the critical learning moments facilitated by the mentor enhanced the development of leader identity.

    Find this resource:

Challenging Assignments

Other tools that organizations may use to enhance leadership development are on-the-job assignments and formal leadership experiences. In contrast to work experiences (Leader Development: Experience), challenging assignments are formally planned interventions to enhance leadership capacity. Dragoni, et al. 2009 finds that developmental assignments of higher quality lead to higher leadership competencies. However, DeRue and Wellman 2009 cautions that overchallenging leaders might lead to less leadership skill development. In support, Courtright, et al. 2014 shows that leaders with low self-efficacy are more likely to experience the negative effects of challenging job assignments, such as emotional exhaustion and laissez-faire leadership. McCauley, et al. 1994 offers an instrument that helps assess whether work challenges are adequate for managerial development. Ng, et al. 2009 describes a specific form of challenging work experience (i.e., international assignment) and the process of experiential learning.

  • Courtright, Stephen H., Amy E. Colbert, and Daejeong Choi. “Fired Up or Burned Out? How Developmental Challenge Differentially Impacts Leader Behavior.” Journal of Applied Psychology 99.4 (2014): 681–696.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0035790Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the positive and negative effects of challenging job assignments on leader behavior, by using transactional stress theory. Findings suggest that challenging job assignments are positively associated with leader engagement and transformational leadership, but also with emotional exhaustion and laissez-faire leadership. Leader self-efficacy moderated the latter relationship.

    Find this resource:

  • DeRue, D. Scott, and Ned Wellman. “Developing Leaders via Experience: The Role of Developmental Challenge, Learning Orientation, and Feedback Availability.” Journal of Applied Psychology 94.4 (2009): 859–875.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0015317Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines different types of work experiences that influence leadership skill development, together with person- and context-related factors. Findings suggest that the degree of developmental challenge of a work experience exhibits an inverted U-shape relationship (predominantly positive) with leadership skill development. The negative effect of overchallenging experiences on leadership skill development is offset by feedback availability.

    Find this resource:

  • Dragoni, Lisa, Paul E. Tesluk, Joyce E. A. Russell, and In-Sue Oh. “Understanding Managerial Development: Integrating Developmental Assignments, Learning Orientation, and Access to Developmental Opportunities in Predicting Managerial Competencies.” Academy of Management Journal 52.4 (2009): 731–743.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMJ.2009.43669936Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a model of managerial development that links experiences in highly developmental assignments, a learning-goal orientation, and access to developmental assignments with managerial competencies. Developmental quality of assignments was positively associated with the development of competencies. Early-career managers with stronger learning orientation were more likely to participate in and benefit from developmental assignments.

    Find this resource:

  • Harvey, Michael, and Milorad M. Novicevic. “The Development of Political Skill and Political Capital by Global Leaders through Global Assignments.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 15.7 (2004): 1173–1188.

    DOI: 10.1080/0958519042000238392Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores how global assignments contribute to the development of political skill and political capital among global leaders. Global assignments are positioned as challenging experiences that lead to the acquisition of political and social skills. Identifies barriers to the development both of political and social capital during the global assignments.

    Find this resource:

  • McCauley, Cynthia D., Marian N. Ruderman, Patricia J. Ohlott, and Jane E. Morrow. “Assessing the Developmental Components of Managerial Jobs.” Journal of Applied Psychology 79.4 (1994): 544–560.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.79.4.544Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes and develops an instrument for assessing the developmental components of managerial jobs: the Developmental Challenge Profile. Reports results of a study that assessed the internal and external validity of the scales used in the instrument. Holding a more developmentally challenging work role was positively related to managerial self-rated learning.

    Find this resource:

  • Ng, Kok-Yee, Linn Van Dyne, and Soon Ang. “From Experience to Experiential Learning: Cultural Intelligence as a Learning Capability for Global Leader Development.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 8.4 (2009): 511–526.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMLE.2009.47785470Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a process model that describes how international assignments produce learning outcomes for global leadership development. International work assignments influence individuals to engage with experiential learning stages (experience, reflect, conceptualize, experiment), whereas cultural intelligence moderates this relationship. Experiential learning further produces a number of affective, knowledge, and behavioral outcomes.

    Find this resource:


Leader development can be undertaken by individuals outside formal development programs and interventions. Such self-development can be beneficial for organizations, and therefore self-development should be encouraged and supported by strategic leaders (Reichard and Johnson 2011). Orvis and Ratwani 2010 offers a taxonomy that helps individuals and organizations evaluate the effectiveness of leader self-development. Individuals who engage in self-development have unique attributes, such as mastery orientation, as noted in Boyce, et al. 2010. Finally, Solansky 2015 suggests that certain elements of self-development can be incorporated into more-formal leadership development programs, which will increase their overall effectiveness.

  • Boyce, Lisa A., Stephen J. Zaccaro, and Michelle Zazanis Wisecarver. “Propensity for Self-Development of Leadership Attributes: Understanding, Predicting, and Supporting Performance of Leader Self-Development.” Leadership Quarterly 21.1 (2010): 159–178.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2009.10.012Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the cognitive, dispositional, and motivational predictors of the propensity for self-development of leadership attributes (SDLA). In a sample of four hundred junior military leaders, findings suggest that mastery orientation positively relates to the motivation and skill to perform self-development. Both motivation and skill fostered a leader’s propensity to SDLA. Further, organizational support moderated the relationship between propensity for SDLA and performance of leader self-development.

    Find this resource:

  • Orvis, Karin A., and Krista Langkamer Ratwani. “Leader Self-Development: A Contemporary Context for Leader Development Evaluation.” In Special Issue: Leadership Development Evaluation. Leadership Quarterly 21.4 (2010): 657–674.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.06.008Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a mixed-method approach for the evaluation of leadership self-development. Introduces taxonomy of attributes that indicate the effectiveness level of a leader self-development activity. Provides an empirical illustration for the use of taxonomy in predicting performance outcomes (task, team, and leader adaptive performance).

    Find this resource:

  • Reichard, Rebecca J., and Stefanie K. Johnson. “Leader Self-Development as Organizational Strategy.” Leadership Quarterly 22.1 (2011): 33–42.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.12.005Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a multilevel model of leader self-development that links organizational-level constructs (e.g., resources) with group-level norms and individual leader characteristics. Stresses the role of strategic leaders in creating conditions necessary for leaders to engage in and benefit from continual self-development.

    Find this resource:

  • Solansky, Stephanie T. “Self-Determination and Leader Development.” Management Learning 46.5 (2015): 618–635.

    DOI: 10.1177/1350507614549118Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Investigates the impact of self-determination (i.e., autonomy) on leader skill development in the context of a large-scale training program for leaders. In line with self-determination theory, participants with highest autonomy (volunteered to participate, free choice of training) experienced greater gains in leadership skills as compared with lowest-autonomy condition (mandated to participate, predetermined training).

    Find this resource:

Leadership Development Over Time

The development of leaders and collective leadership is inherently longitudinal; therefore, it is important to study both the early antecedents and the process of leadership development broadly defined. In this section, we discuss studies that address early roots of leadership, study leadership development over time, or both. Given that most studies examine the development of individual leaders over time, the main focus of this section is on leader development.

Roots of Leadership Development

Murphy and Johnson 2011 proposes that leadership development starts much earlier than previously considered; that is, in childhood. A number of studies that utilize available longitudinal developmental data and twin design methodologies support this proposition. De Neve, et al. 2013 identifies a specific genotype associated with leadership role occupancy. Guerin, et al. 2011 demonstrates that adolescent personality traits relate to leadership potential in adulthood, mediated by social skills. Gottfried, et al. 2011 finds that academic intrinsic motivation is related to motivation to lead.

  • De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel, Slava Mikhaylov, Christopher T. Dawes, Nicholas A. Christakis, and James H. Fowler. “Born to Lead? A Twin Design and Genetic Association Study of Leadership Role Occupancy.” Leadership Quarterly 24.1 (2013): 45–60.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.08.001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the individual predisposition to occupy leadership roles, using a twin design method and cohort study samples. Findings suggest that about a quarter of the variation in leadership role occupancy is heritable. Identifies a specific genotype that is significantly associated with occupying a leadership position.

    Find this resource:

  • Gottfried, Adele Eskeles, Allen W. Gottfried, Rebecca J. Reichard, Diana Wright Guerin, Pamella H. Oliver, and Ronald E. Riggio. “Motivational Roots of Leadership: A Longitudinal Study from Childhood through Adulthood.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 510–519.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.008Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Investigates how motivation from childhood through adolescence relates to the motivation to lead in adulthood. Using longitudinal data, findings reveal that academic intrinsic motivation is positively related to affective-identity and noncalculative dimensions of motivation to lead, but not to the social-normative dimension. IQ was not related to any of the motivation-to-lead dimensions.

    Find this resource:

  • Guerin, Diana Wright, Pamella H. Oliver, Allen W. Gottfried, Adele Eskeles Gottfried, Rebecca J. Reichard, and Ronald E. Riggio. “Childhood and Adolescent Antecedents of Social Skills and Leadership Potential in Adulthood: Temperamental Approach/Withdrawal and Extraversion.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 482–494.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.006Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the developmental roots of leadership by considering the direct and indirect effects of adolescent personality and intelligence on adult social skills and leadership potential. Adolescent IQ was not related to leadership potential. Social skills were found to mediate the relationship between extraversion and leadership potential (transformational leadership and leadership duties at work).

    Find this resource:

  • Murphy, Susan Elaine, and Stefanie K. Johnson. “The Benefits of a Long-Lens Approach to Leader Development: Understanding the Seeds of Leadership.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 459–470.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.004Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Offers a framework of leader development exploring the various leadership experiences that occur throughout childhood. The framework details the leadership tasks and skills required at different ages. Discusses the developmental needs of adult leaders in light of their childhood leadership experiences.

    Find this resource:

Longitudinal Perspectives

Several longitudinal investigations describe the process of leadership development in mature samples. Day 2011 reviews articles published in the special issue of The Leadership Quarterly on longitudinal studies of leadership development, including several providing welcomed empirical evidence. For example, Harms, et al. 2011 provides evidence from military cadets suggesting that personality traits have a positive influence on leader development. Research in Atwater, et al. 1999 also shows that prior experience has a positive influence on leader development, which in turn relates to leadership performance, as demonstrated in Bartone, et al. 2007. Day and Sin 2011 uses longitudinal trajectory modeling, demonstrating that changes in leader identity also positively relate to leadership effectiveness among university students. Hirst, et al. 2004 suggests that previous experience affects the rate of leadership learning over time.

  • Atwater, Leanne E., Shelley D. Dionne, Bruce Avolio, John E. Camobreco, and Alan W. Lau. “A Longitudinal Study of the Leadership Development Process: Individual Differences Predicting Leader Effectiveness.” Human Relations 52.12 (1999): 1543–1562.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A longitudinal study of male cadets at a military college tests the influence of early individual differences on leadership effectiveness and emergence. Results show that physical fitness and prior influence experience predicted leader effectiveness, but stress tolerance and moral reasoning did not relate to leader emergence or effectiveness.

    Find this resource:

  • Bartone, Paul T., Scott A. Snook, George B. Forsythe, Philip Lewis, and Richard C. Bullis. “Psychosocial Development and Leader Performance of Military Officer Cadets.” Leadership Quarterly 18.5 (2007): 490–504.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2007.07.008Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Reports on a longitudinal study of West Point college students over four years, examining the change in psychosocial development and its relationship with leadership performance. Results suggest that approximately half the cadets in the sample experienced positive constructive development changes. Higher levels of development were related to various peer, subordinate, and supervisor ratings of leadership performance.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V. “Integrative Perspectives on Longitudinal Investigations of Leader Development: From Childhood through Adulthood.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 561–571.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.012Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Introduces the special issue of The Leadership Quarterly on longitudinal studies of leadership development. Posits leadership development as inherently multilevel and longitudinal, which requires the investigation both of within- and between-person patterns of change over time. Reviews the studies included in the special issue and offers suggestions for future research on leadership development.

    Find this resource:

  • Day, David V., and Hock-Peng Sin. “Longitudinal Tests of an Integrative Model of Leader Development: Charting and Understanding Developmental Trajectories.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 545–560.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.011Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Estimates developmental trajectories of emerging leaders over a thirteen-week time span, with leader identity serving as a time-varying covariate. Findings suggest that stronger leader identity was positively associated with others’ ratings of leadership effectiveness over four time points. Participants with a stronger adult-developmental process of goal selection had a different form of developmental trajectory than the majority of participants.

    Find this resource:

  • Harms, Peter D., Seth M. Spain, and Sean T. Hannah. “Leader Development and the Dark Side of Personality.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 495–509.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.007Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines personality in leadership development from a different perspective, focusing on subclinical personality traits instead of more-popular personality assessments (i.e., the “Big Five”). Using longitudinal study of military cadets, the authors found that some subclinical traits (e.g., skeptical) had a negative relationship with leader development, and some (e.g., cautious, dutiful) had a positive relationship. The effects of subclinical traits on leadership development endured over time.

    Find this resource:

  • Hirst, Giles, Leon Mann, Paul Bain, Andrew Pirola-Merlo, and Andreas Richver. “Learning to Lead: The Development and Testing of a Model of Leadership Learning.” Leadership Quarterly 15.3 (2004): 311–327.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.02.011Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes that a level of experience will determine how much a leader will learn, and, further, experience will moderate the relationship between leadership learning and facilitative leadership. In a longitudinal investigation, the authors find that new leaders learned more than experienced leaders. A time lag (eight to twelve months) was found between leadership learning and facilitative leadership behavior enactment.

    Find this resource:

Context for Leadership Development

An important element for an effective and successful leadership development is a facilitative and supportive environment that curtails some of the challenges and insecurities leaders face in their development. Petriglieri and Petriglieri 2010 examines the role of business schools in offering such environments or so-called identity workspaces. Indeed, qualitative evidence provided in Warhurst 2012 suggests that master of business administration (MBA) students benefit significantly from leadership development efforts offered by business schools. However, Klimoski and Amos 2012 criticizes business schools for not using available scholarly evidence for the design of such programs, and Collinson and Tourish 2015 also chides business schools for relying on conventional as opposed to more-critical approaches to teaching leadership. Outside of business schools, Kark 2011 argues that supportive context for leadership development can be promoted by utilizing the elements of “play.”

  • Collinson, David, and Dennis Tourish. “Teaching Leadership Critically: New Directions for Leadership Pedagogy.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 14.4 (2015): 576–594.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2014.0079Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Criticizes the conventional approaches to teaching leadership in business schools, which often rely on the concepts of transformational and charismatic leadership. Proposes critical leadership studies as a better alternative framework for leadership development. Discusses the implicit assumptions on power and agency that underlie conventional and more-critical approaches to teaching leadership.

    Find this resource:

  • Kark, Ronit. “Games Managers Play: Play as a Form of Leadership Development.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 10.3 (2011): 507–527.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2010.0048Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores the role of play in leadership development processes. Develops a conceptual framework that describes how play influences the development of leadership identity, cognitive abilities, and leadership-relevant skills. Proposes that play may enhance learning at the group level by fostering knowledge sharing and creativity. Discusses the importance of creating safe play spaces for leadership development.

    Find this resource:

  • Klimoski, Richard, and Benjamin Amos. “Practicing Evidence-Based Education in Leadership Development.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 11.4 (2012): 685–702.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2012.0018Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Points out that many of the business schools rarely rely on the available scholarly evidence to promote leadership development among MBA students. Discusses possible reasons for this misalignment of the research and teaching, including lack of communication and collaboration between different stakeholders and the lack of pedagogical skills.

    Find this resource:

  • Petriglieri, Gianpiero, and Jennifer Louise Petriglieri. “Identity Workspaces: The Case of Business Schools.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 9.1 (2010): 44–60.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMLE.2010.48661190Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Introduces the concept of identity workplaces—institutions characterized by reliable social defenses, sentient communities, and vital rites of passage that facilitate identity work. Because of their relatively stable environment, business schools have become identity workplaces for managers in the early 21st century. Although the article does not specifically discuss leadership development, its focus is on managerial developmental needs that also include leadership skills and identity.

    Find this resource:

  • Petriglieri, Gianpiero, Jack Denfeld Wood, and Jennifer Louise Petriglieri. “Up Close and Personal: Building Foundations for Leaders’ Development through the Personalization of Management Learning.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 10.3 (2011): 430–450.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2010.0032Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes that business schools play an important role in the development of a leadership capacity among MBA students. An inductive, qualitative study explores the process of leadership development in the course of a personalized program that allows the transformation of regressive experiences into the participant’s learning and growth.

    Find this resource:

  • Warhurst, Russell P. “Leadership Development as Identity Formation: Middle Managers’ Leadership Learning from MBA Study.” Human Resource Development International 15.4 (2012): 471–487.

    DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2012.706428Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Qualitatively investigates leadership development as a process of identity formation among a sample of UK government managers participating in a corporate MBA program. Suggests that informal communities of practice hold an equal developmental value for identity building as the formal MBA curriculum.

    Find this resource:

Special Leadership Development

The needs and outcomes of leadership development might differ depending on a particular industry where leadership development efforts are undertaken. Two prominent examples of such special leadership development that have been considered in the literature are health care and higher education.

Leadership in Health Care

Blumenthal, et al. 2012 argues that the development of leadership skills is insufficiently addressed in medical residency training. McAlearney 2006 gives an overview of the challenges of leadership development in health care. Sherman, et al. 2007 provides an even more detailed overview by developing a nurse manager competency model with implications for leadership development. However, Hewison and Griffiths 2004 cautions that the current emphasis on leadership development in health care might be another “management fad,” and argues for a more balanced approach. Finally, an example and evaluation of a leadership development program for medical educators is provided in Gruppen, et al. 2003.

  • Blumenthal, Daniel M., Ken Bernard, Jordan Bohnen, and Richard Bohmer. “Addressing the Leadership Gap in Medicine: Residents’ Need for Systematic Leadership Development Training.” Academic Medicine 87.4 (2012): 513–522.

    DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31824a0c47Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Argues that residency programs do not consistently and explicitly prioritize leadership development; therefore, clinicians are inadequately prepared for leadership roles. Reviews the effects of frontline clinical leadership on clinical outcomes and the barriers to its development. Offers a set of best practices for leadership development as part of residency training.

    Find this resource:

  • Gruppen, Larry D., Alice Z. Frohna, Robert M. Anderson, and Kimberly D. Lowe. “Faculty Development for Educational Leadership and Scholarship.” Academic Medicine 78.2 (2003): 137–141.

    DOI: 10.1097/00001888-200302000-00007Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Describes the design and curriculum of a one-year-long leadership development program for medical educators. The results of an evaluation study suggest that program participation led to an increase in promotions and awards, new educational responsibilities, new educational programs, and the emergence of new educational scholarships.

    Find this resource:

  • Hewison, Alistair, and Maggie Griffiths. “Leadership Development in Health Care: A Word of Caution.” Journal of Health Organization and Management 18.6 (2004): 464–473.

    DOI: 10.1108/14777260410570018Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Critically reviews the effectiveness of leadership development programs in nursing and health care at large. Authors stipulate that leadership development alone, although important, is not sufficient for the proper advancement of health-care organizations.

    Find this resource:

  • McAlearney, Ann Scheck. “Leadership Development in Healthcare: A Qualitative Study.” In Special Issue: Healthcare: The Problems Are Organizational Not Clinical. Journal of Organizational Behavior 27.7 (2006): 967–982.

    DOI: 10.1002/job.417Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A qualitative study exploring leadership development practices in health-care organizations. Six challenges for health-care leadership development were identified: industry lag, representativeness, professional conflicts, time constraint, technical hurdles, and financial constraints. A conceptual model of organizational commitment to leadership development in health-care organizations is advanced, influenced by organizational strategy, culture, and structure.

    Find this resource:

  • Sherman, Rose O., Mary Bishop, Terry Eggenberger, and Ruth Karden. “Development of a Leadership Competency Model.” Journal of Nursing Administration 37.2 (2007): 85–94.

    DOI: 10.1097/00005110-200702000-00011Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores the critical leadership skills and competencies needed by nurse managers, as well as the challenges of their role. Based on qualitative analysis, suggests six key competencies required for nursing leadership (personal mastery, financial management, human resource management, interpersonal effectiveness, caring, systems thinking). Further suggests the nursing managers’ role components, challenges, and stressors.

    Find this resource:

Leadership in Higher Education

Student leadership development also represents a unique context with its special needs and requirements. Although much of the more generic literature on leadership development has extensively used student samples for empirical investigation, the studies in this section focus on students per se. Waldman, et al. 2013 studies behavior modeling as a technique that promotes the development of motivation to lead and leader role identity in business students. Smart, et al. 2002 emphasizes the role of institutional environment in student leadership development over a four-year period. Similarly, Antonio 2001 considers the role of interracial interaction in the development of leadership skills. Kezar and Moriarty 2000 addresses the gender and race differences in leadership development among college students.

  • Antonio, Anthony Lising. “The Role of Interracial Interaction in the Development of Leadership Skills and Cultural Knowledge and Understanding.” Research in Higher Education 42.5 (2001): 593–617.

    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011054427581Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Investigates the effects of interracial contact among students on the development of leadership skills and cultural knowledge and understanding. Findings indicate that casual interracial interaction is beneficial for developing leadership skills, especially for students with racially homogeneous friendship circles.

    Find this resource:

  • Kezar, Adrianna, and Deb Moriarty. “Expanding Our Understanding of Student Leadership Development: A Study Exploring Gender and Ethnic Identity.” Journal of College Student Development 41.1 (2000): 55–69.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines factors influencing leadership development among college students, with a special focus on gender and race differences. Using a large sample of students, the authors find that women provide lower ratings for the initial status and the rate of change in leadership ability, public speaking, and social self-confidence.

    Find this resource:

  • Smart, John C., Corinna A. Ethington, Robert O. Riggs, and Michael D. Thompson. “Influences of Institutional Expenditure Patterns on the Development of Students’ Leadership Competencies.” Research in Higher Education 43.1 (2002): 115–132.

    DOI: 10.1023/A:1013074218134Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using a broad sample of colleges and universities, the study examines changes in students’ perceptions of their leadership abilities over a four-year period. The findings indicate that students’ attributes, academic major, institutional expenditure patterns, campus environment, and involvement in leadership activities create a complex interaction influencing the development of students’ leadership competencies.

    Find this resource:

  • Waldman, David A., Benjamin M. Galvin, and Fred O. Walumbwa. “The Development of Motivation to Lead and Leader Role Identity.” Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 20.2 (2013): 156–168.

    DOI: 10.1177/1548051812457416Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Quasi-experimental study examining the development of social-normative motivation to lead (MTL) and leader role identity (LRI) in business students. Authors used behavior-modeling techniques to emphasize the importance of transformational leadership, finding that both MTL and LRI increased in participants as compared to the control group. Treatment groups also reported lower post-test scores on transactional LRI.

    Find this resource:

Women’s Leadership Development

For several decades, influenced by the so-called “Great Man” theories of leadership, the literature on leadership development did not consider the special needs and challenges that women might face in their leader development. Ely, et al. 2011, an influential essay, makes a strong case for the existence of implicit bias both in society and organizations that inhibit women’s leadership development. Hopkins, et al. 2008 reviews the unique needs of women in organizations and suggests specific leadership development practices that address these needs. Davies, et al. 2005 offers an illustration of how a form of implicit bias (i.e., stereotypes) affects women in their leadership aspirations. Arvey, et al. 2007 suggests that heritability explains about a third of variance in leadership role occupancy among women. However, in the absence of clear comparison groups, it is unclear if the results would be different for men (see also Roots of Leadership Development). Li, et al. 2011 offers a more comprehensive examination of leadership role occupancy among men and women, finding determinants that are shared by both genders and those that are unique to females.

  • Arvey, Richard D., Zhen Zhang, Bruce J. Avolio, and Robert F. Krueger. “Developmental and Genetic Determinants of Leadership Role Occupancy among Women.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92.3 (2007): 693–706.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.3.693Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores the genetic and developmental factors that influence leadership role occupancy among women. Findings suggest that almost a third of variance in leadership role occupancy is associated with heritability. Authors identify two major developmental factors: work experience was more strongly related to leadership role occupancy among women than was the family experience factor.

    Find this resource:

  • Davies, Paul G., Steven J. Spencer, and Claude M. Steele. “Clearing the Air: Identity Safety Moderates the Effects of Stereotype Threat on Women’s Leadership Aspirations.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88.2 (2005): 276–287.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.88.2.276Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores how vulnerability to stereotype threat affects women’s aspirations to claim leadership roles. College students were exposed to gender-stereotypic TV commercials, which undermined women’s aspirations in a subsequent leadership task. However, creating an identity-safe environment eliminated vulnerability to stereotype, despite the presence of threatening situational cues.

    Find this resource:

  • Ely, Robin J., Herminia Ibarra, and Deborah M. Kolb. “Taking Gender into Account: Theory and Design for Women’s Leadership Development Programs.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 10.3 (2011): 474–493.

    DOI: 10.5465/amle.2010.0046Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines how subtle forms both of cultural and organizational gender bias interfere with leadership development among women. Proposes revision of the traditional leadership development tools (e.g., 360-degree feedback) in light of the particular challenges women face in senior leadership roles. Offers principles for the design and delivery of women’s leadership programs (e.g., promoting a facilitative environment for women’s identity work).

    Find this resource:

  • Hopkins, Margaret M., Deborah A. O’Neil, Angela Passarelli, and Diana Bilimoria. “Women’s Leadership Development Strategic Practices for Women and Organizations.” Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 60.4 (2008): 348–365.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0014093Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Reviews leadership development practices that address the unique needs of women in organizations. Examines the obstacles and opportunities these practices present for women. Provides practical suggestions for advancement of women’s leadership development.

    Find this resource:

  • Li, Wen-Dong, Richard D. Arvey, and Zhaoli Song. “The Influence of General Mental Ability, Self-Esteem and Family Socioeconomic Status on Leadership Role Occupancy and Leader Advancement: The Moderating Role of Gender.” In Special Issue: Longitudinal Studies of Leadership Development. Leadership Quarterly 22.3 (2011): 520–534.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.009Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Investigated the influence of general mental abilities, self-esteem, family socioeconomic status, and demographic variables on leadership role occupancy and leader advancement. Self-esteem predicted leadership role occupancy for both genders, and the rate of leader advancement for females. Contrary to predictions, family socioeconomic status was negatively related to leader advancement for females. Mental ability was not related to outcome variables for either gender.

    Find this resource:

  • Stead, Valerie. “Learning to Deploy (In)visibility: An Examination of Women Leaders’ Lived Experiences.” Management Learning 44.1 (2013): 63–79.

    DOI: 10.1177/1350507612470603Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Critically examines women leaders’ lived experiences of learning leadership through the conceptualizations of invisibility (being excluded, absent, and marginalized). Highlights multiple forms of invisibility experience shaped by gender and power relations. Using qualitative data, illustrates how women learn to deploy invisibility in their leadership development.

    Find this resource:

Organizational Outcomes of Leadership Development

The following studies explicitly consider the outcomes of leadership development at the organizational level, thus emphasizing the importance of such initiatives at large. Unfortunately, there are only few articles that have addressed the topic thus far. Avolio, et al. 2010 develops a quantitative methodology to measure the return on leadership development investment. Galli and Müller-Stewens 2012 offers a more qualitative account of organizational benefits stemming from leadership development efforts.

  • Avolio, Bruce J., James B. Avey, and David Quisenberry. “Estimating Return on Leadership Development Investment.” In Special Issue: Leadership Development Evaluation. Leadership Quarterly 21.4 (2010): 633–644.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.06.006Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a method for estimating the return on leadership development investment (RODI). Specific methodology is described for estimating RODI, by using different assumptions, scenarios, length of the intervention, and level of participants engaged in the developmental program. Illustrative findings suggest that RODI may range from low negative to 200 percent for different types of developmental interventions.

    Find this resource:

  • Galli, Eva Bilhuber, and Günter Müller-Stewens. “How to Build Social Capital with Leadership Development: Lessons from an Explorative Case Study of a Multibusiness Firm.” Leadership Quarterly 23.1 (2012): 176–201.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.11.014Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores how leadership development affects organizational performance through the contribution to social capital. Findings from a case study suggest that social capital differs regarding its intensity and progresses through stages characterized by contact (e.g., networks), assimilations (e.g., leadership training), and identification (e.g., job assignments). Suggests that leadership development practices vary in their impact on social-capital development stages.

    Find this resource:

back to top