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The Evolution of Leadership Theory

David A. Van Seters (Stevenson, Kellogg, Ernst & Whinney, Vancouver, British Columbia)
Richard H.G. Field (University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 March 1990


Leadership is one of the most complex and multifaceted phenomena to which organisational and psychological research has been applied. An evolutionary developmental perspective is used to create an evolutionary tree of leadership theory and reveal the path along which it has evolved. Nine evolutionary eras are identified, and requirements for a tenth era of leadership theory are discussed. These eras provide a broad framework for researchers and practising managers to categorise existing, and evaluate future, theories.



Van Seters, D.A. and Field, R.H.G. (1990), "The Evolution of Leadership Theory", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 29-45.




Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited