Leadership Studies

Leadership Studies

The Dialogue of Disciplines

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series

Edited by Michael Harvey and Ronald E. Riggio

This unique, cross-disciplinary volume encourages a new synthesis in the vibrant field of leadership studies. Comprising reflective conversations among scholars from different disciplines, the contributors explore common ground for new research and ideas.

Chapter 10: The Management Perspective: Engineering Effective Leadership in Organizations

Ronald E. Riggio

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, economics and finance, economic psychology, politics and public policy, leadership, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


Ronald E. Riggio The commonly held belief about business schools, particularly by our colleagues in the humanities and social sciences, is that the work done in Bschools is primarily applied and not very scientific. When it comes to the management perspective on leadership, however, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, one argument that can be made about the management/organizational behavior approach to leadership is that it was overly scientific for many decades, and not very practitioner-oriented. As a result, concepts and theories of leadership by management scholars were quite theoretical, with some being very difficult or nearly impossible to translate for the practice of leadership. The approaches to applying management and leadership theories taken by management scholars from the 1950s through to the 1970s were very leader-centric and involved manipulations of leader/manager behavior in order to “engineer” effectiveness. That orientation, one that we believe is passing, is represented in the chapter title. It is also impossible to discuss management’s contributions to leadership studies without acknowledging the contributions that psychology made in influencing the thought and research of management scholars. In many ways, management and psychology are inextricably linked and will likely continue to be so because of the many psychologically trained scholars in departments of management. As a result, many of the key leadership theories that have influenced the study of leadership in business schools have psychological origins, or are “hybrids” of theories emanating from management and psychology. MANAGEMENT VS. LEADERSHIP Before we look at theories of...

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