The Elusive Science of Leadership

Michael G. Rumsey

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Elusive Science of Leadership

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This chapter, which provides some overall comments concerning the current state of leadership research and some thoughts about potentially fruitful directions, explores leadership as a science. The word leadership has been used so broadly as to permeate every aspect of society. A “paradigm shift” has become a popular expression for the process by which one changes one's assumptions about a particular scientific field. Many of the evident points of disagreement between alternative leadership theories may melt away when the terminology used is consistent and clear. The deficiency in a clear definition of the field of study is the fundamental difficulty in advancing leadership science. Effectiveness “is not solely determined by the performance of a particular individual even if that individual is one of the organization's critical leaders.”

Keywords: leadership research; paradigm shift; leadership science; leaders; society

Article.  8666 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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