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Leadership behavior‐in‐context: an antidote to leadership hype

Michael Walton (Based at People in Organisations Ltd, Pointon, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




This paper aims to outline three ways in which a leader's behavior‐in‐context can be examined. As such it moves away from an emphasis on a leader's “performance and personality” and focuses on underlying contextual features which can lead to success or failure.


The paper examines some of the possible bases for dysfunctional leadership and concludes that such counter‐productive behavior may be contextually determined. Three ways of looking at executive behavior‐in‐context are used to highlight the need to look beyond a leader's style in order to assess their organizational achievements.


Any assessment of a leader's performance should be based on their behavior‐in‐context.

Practical implications

The paper offers ways in which executive appointments, succession decisions and performance appraisal can be enhanced by taking a closer and more nuanced assessment of the behavior of leaders.


The paper brings together three ways of re‐viewing leadership misbehavior and offers an alternative to an over focus on the personality of the leader as the core basis for success or failure.



Walton, M. (2011), "Leadership behavior‐in‐context: an antidote to leadership hype", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 7, pp. 415-421.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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