Edited by Birgit Schyns, Rosalie J. Hall and Pedro Neves
Chapter 16: Leadership in the future, and the future of leadership research
This chapter addresses ways to improve leadership theory, methodology, and practice both in the near term, which could be expected to be reasonably similar to the present, and in the long term, which may be radically different from the present. Within its tripartite focus on theory, methods, and practice, this chapter attempts to assess several fundamental assumptions that have guided thinking regarding leadership, while also considering issues related to aggregation across levels of analysis and across time. The critical issue underlying this analysis is that we typically ask subordinates to describe their leader without first checking to see whether the leadership construct makes sense to them as a category applied to the target being rated. When prior experience with a leader has not been encoded in leadership terms, ratings necessarily reflect more general types of information, which though sensible, does not accurately describe the behavior of the person being rated. Ways to address the consequences of this problem are addressed.
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