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The impact of obstacles defined by developmental antecedents on resilience in leadership formation

Christopher S. Howard (Business Administration, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, North Carolina, USA)
Justin A. Irving (Center for Transformational Leadership, Bethel University, St Paul, Minnesota, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 13 May 2014




The aim of this paper is to report findings from research conducted that links the role of obstacles defined by developmental antecedents to the level of resilience within a leader.


The study reflects responses from 167 participants and utilizes leadership antecedents categories, the Differentiation of Self Inventory, Short Form and the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale.


The results demonstrate that resiliency is positively correlated with both the leadership antecedents and differentiation of self. In light of the research findings, the authors will highlight the relationship between resiliency and the leadership antecedents (including developmental assignments, developmental relationships, developmental experiences, and developmental training), highlight the relationship between resiliency and differentiation of self, and provide rationale for the absence of a relationship between differentiation of self and the leadership antecedents.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not demonstrate how the developmental antecedents might work in combination with one another to develop resiliency. Therefore, one recommendation would be to further verify the interrelationship of developmental antecedents and the nature of their relationship with leader resiliency. If research can determine the interrelationship of these developmental antecedents on the development of resilience, then implications exist within the leadership formation process and for new forms of leadership training.


Based on the findings, the authors intend to provide an argument for why obstacles and developmental experiences are a logical and necessary part of the formation process for leaders and suggest the importance of emerging leaders attending to this dimension of their own leadership formation journey.



S. Howard, C. and A. Irving, J. (2014), "The impact of obstacles defined by developmental antecedents on resilience in leadership formation", Management Research Review, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 466-478.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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