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Alexandra (Sasha) Cook and Bertolt Meyer

Although most definitions of leadership acknowledge the act of leading itself as being an interactional behavior between at least two individuals, we know surprisingly little about what leaders actually do and in which ways the concrete and observable behavior of formal or informal leaders in organizations and teams is related to outcomes such as leadership success or subjective leadership impressions by employees or team members. This chapter aims at summarizing existing methods for observing leadership behavior and leadership behavior coding schemes. Additionally, the authors take a closer look at current empirical evidence from emergent leadership research on behavioral parameters and their automated measurement with wearable sensors. Based on this review, they discuss the prospective operational capability of measures such as automated movement and interaction analyses in observational studies on leadership behaviors and their possible contribution beyond the limits of existing behavioral coding systems.

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Edited by Birgit Schyns, Rosalie J. Hall and Pedro Neves

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Wen-Dong Li, Remus Ilies and Wei Wang

Behavioral genetics approaches to the study of individual differences have been widely applied in various disciplines in social sciences to investigate the “nature versus/and nurture” issue through disentangling influences from genetic factors (i.e., influences from nature) and environmental factors (i.e., influences from nurture). However, leadership research has only recently embraced such approaches. This is unfortunate considering the long-standing debate on whether leaders are born or made, and the more recent emphasis on person–environment interplay in leadership research. In this chapter, the authors first discuss the importance of the behavioral genetics approach to organizational research. They then introduce two types of behavioral genetics research that have been adopted so far: classic twin studies and molecular genetic research capitalizing on specific DNA information. Specifically, they explain how univariate biometric analyses, and bivariate biometric analyses based on twin studies can be applied to study important issues in leadership research. With respect to molecular genetic research, they discuss the candidate gene approach and genome-wide association studies, and how they can be useful in advancing leadership research. They also provide brief research examples based on previous research in which such approaches can be employed in addressing critical questions in leadership.

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Miguel Pina e Cunha, Marianne Lewis, Arménio Rego and Wendy K. Smith

The chapter discusses the role of biographical methods in leadership research. Biographical methods refer to a variety of approaches that include self-narratives, autobiographies, and historical biographies. The authors explore an individual’s life story to elucidate its dynamics over time. Biographical methods engage with the lived experience of leadership and aim to explore the richness of the experience of leading. They aim to generate deep-level and holistic insights into the behaviors, relationships, thoughts, and emotions of leaders, and help to make sense of how such behaviors, relationships, thoughts, and emotions dynamically unfold over time and in context. Biographical methods provide a rich combination of breadth (the dimensions across a leader’s life) and depth (the intimate details about the leader’s life and circumstances over time). Such combination of breadth and depth favors the creation of insight into factors often excluded from leadership research, namely the paradoxical tensions and inconsistencies inherent in leadership processes.

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Aurora J. Dixon, Jessica M. Webb and Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang

Traditionally, leadership research relies on tools such as observations and surveys to characterize leaders’ traits and behaviors, followers’ reactions, and leader–follower interactions and coordination to understand the leadership process. Recent development in biological and physiological assessments has offered leadership scholars additional ways to measure processes in leaders and followers. These methods can be used to capture subtle processes of different biological systems, such as activities in the brain, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems of leaders and followers. Such processes may not only be outside individuals’ awareness, but also have limited outwardly visible signs. Despite this, they provide additional insights into understanding how leaders exercise effective influence; how followers perceive, share, and respond to messages from leaders; and how leaders and followers reciprocally affect each other. In this chapter, the authors first introduce biological and physiological sensors, and discuss their applications in the leadership research. Next, they discuss various biological and physiological measures and their advantages over the traditional measurement tools typically used in leadership research. Third, they review the extent to which these biological and physiological measures already have been adopted by leadership researchers. Finally, recommendations and future directions are presented for leadership scholars who are interested in utilizing these measures.

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Philip Gylfe

This chapter shows how the use of videos can be used to “fill in spaces” left by more conventional qualitative methods focused on verbal transcripts or audio recordings. Visual behaviors such as pointing, gesturing, shifts in bodily position, and so on, provide important insight into how middle managers enact their strategic roles. The author shows how video data can be used in conjunction with other data sources (for example, verbal transcripts, field notes, documents), and identifies three analytical stages: “detailing,” “sequencing,” and “patterning.” The chapter connects specific types of behaviors (movements, use of material objects, and gestures) to managers’ integrative and divergent roles, and presents two vignettes from a video shadowing study to illustrate the methodology’s potential. This chapter contributes to the middle management strategy process literature by introducing and providing an overview of a potentially powerful, and increasingly practical, research methodology.

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Robert A. Burgelman

This chapter describes how large, complex, multi-business organizations achieve complex strategic integration. Drawing on the classic Bower_Burgelman (B-B) model of strategy process and a concrete strategy-as-practice lens, the chapter offers an in-depth process analysis of the “Change the Game” initiative within Nike, an initiative intended to transform a historically marginalized women’s apparel business into a centerpiece of the company’s strategy. The result is a narrative connecting upward, downward, and most importantly, lateral leadership practices to a process described in the B-B process model.

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Ruifang Wang, Patrick T. Gibbons and Ciaran Heavey

This chapter provides an overview of existing theory on middle managers’ roles in the strategy process and develops a conceptual framework detailing drivers and mechanisms underlying managers’ strategic role flexibility. The chapter describes strategic role flexibility as being comprised of: (1) multifaceted role behavior; (2) multidirectional patterns of influence; and (3) temporal agility. The framework suggests that strategic role flexibility is driven by human and social capital considerations and is achieved through a three-step process: envisioning, assessing, and enacting. After presenting the framework, the chapter identifies 11 broad research questions to guide future research on the drivers, mechanisms, strategic contexts, and manifestations of middle managers’ strategic role flexibility.

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Savvas Trichas

The aim of the literature discussed in the current chapter is to argue for the added value of using sophisticated facial expression coding to leadership research. A substantial number of empirical studies contributed to our knowledge of leaders’ emotional expressions. However, our awareness regarding the actual impact of leaders’ facial displays is still restricted, as the majority of research in the field of leadership has neglected the added contribution that can emerge from the integration of sophisticated facial action coding analysis. Specifically, both pronounced and subtle differences in muscle movement and intensity can produce quite different perceptual impacts. In addition to visual coding, the timing of expression and of sequential facial action units also needs to be considered, as it can also significantly influence observers’ perceptions. The leadership studies that have used detailed facial action coding methods highlight the significance of such methods in leadership research design. Based on the available leadership studies using sophisticated facial analysis, it is argued that the body of leadership research would benefit from incorporating detailed facial expression coding techniques into research designs. The outcomes of the integration of detail in terms of facial muscle movement, intensity, and timing could eventually expand the range of research exploration, depth of analysis, and magnitude of findings.

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Henry Mintzberg

This chapter provides a unique perspective on how to develop new theory. The chapter begins by describing what theory is not: it is not true, objective, or deductive. From there, the chapter explores what theory and theory development might actually be. In the most expansive section, the chapter articulates 20 points that constitute a unique approach to developing theory. These 20 points constitute a a rich set of observations on theory building that are more interesting and relevant than they are rigorous or tested.