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Creating future leaders: an examination of youth leadership development in Australia

Nathan Eva (Department of Management, Monash University, Caulfield, Australia)
Sen Sendjaya (Department of Management, Monash University, Caulfield, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 9 August 2013



In light of the research‐practice gap in youth leadership development, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of youth leadership development in Australia, on the basis of a multidimensional and holistic framework of servant leadership.


In total, three separate studies were conducted to achieve the above purpose, namely 33 interviews with student leaders; ten interviews with secondary college teachers and principals, as well as youth leadership facilitators; and 97 survey responses from recent secondary college graduates.


There exists a significant gap between the perceptions of the students and those of the teachers/facilitators on what is being taught and what is required in youth leadership development programs. The study reveals that students have little exposure to ethics training throughout their leadership programs. The application of a holistic framework of servant leadership in youth leadership development programme is recommended and discussed.


A framework in which to develop holistic leadership concepts, characteristics and competencies within students was developed from the findings. This framework can be used as the basis for teaching and developing young leaders in particular, as well as in more general leadership programs.



Eva, N. and Sendjaya, S. (2013), "Creating future leaders: an examination of youth leadership development in Australia", Education + Training, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 584-598.



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