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Leadership development trends and challenges in the twenty-first century: rethinking the priorities

Majd Megheirkouni (Department of Business Systems and Operations, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK)
Ammar Mejheirkouni (Faculty of Economics, Management of Small and Medium Enterprises, Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 3 February 2020

Issue publication date: 3 February 2020




The purpose of this paper is to understand challenges facing organizations in the twenty-first century and address these challenges through suggesting future leadership development based on relevant leadership theories, which would motivate and guide future research directions in a streamlined manner.


The present study adopted the exploratory literature review, using the integrative method, to review the theoretical and empirical literature on leadership development published since the 2000s, primarily focusing on research published in the Journal of Management Development.


The findings of the current review confirmed that leadership theories are the base for leadership development theories, particularly if the purpose is to address and overcome the current challenges facing organizations. The authors suggest that leadership theories and leadership development theories do not exist in isolation from one another, nor do they exist in isolation from challenges facing organizations.

Research limitations/implications

This review does not cover all studies before the 2000s nor other journals in the field of leadership.


Given that most organizations are suffering from one or more of the following issues: sexual scandals, unethical behaviors, individualism, crises and a low level of performance or productivity, the development of particular leadership skills has become a priority. This study is one of few studies guiding both future leadership development research directions and leadership development initiatives.



Megheirkouni, M. and Mejheirkouni, A. (2020), "Leadership development trends and challenges in the twenty-first century: rethinking the priorities", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 97-124.



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