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Leadership in Applied Psychology: Three Waves of Theory and Research

Lord, R.G.; Day, D.V.; Zaccaro, S.J.; Avolio, B.J.; Eagly, A.H.

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D.V. Day

S.J. Zaccaro

B.J. Avolio

A.H. Eagly


Although in the early years of the Journal leadership research was rare and focused primarily on traits differentiating leaders from nonleaders, subsequent to World War II the research area developed in 3 major waves of conceptual, empirical, and methodological advances: (a) behavioral and attitude research; (b) behavioral, social-cognitive, and contingency research; and (c) transformational, social exchange, team, and gender-related research. Our review of this work shows dramatic increases in sophistication from early research focusing on personnel issues associated with World War I to contemporary multilevel models and meta-analyses on teams, shared leadership, leader-member exchange, gender, ethical, abusive, charismatic, and transformational leadership. Yet, many of the themes that characterize contemporary leadership research were also present in earlier research.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 3, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 26, 2017
Publication Date Mar 1, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 23, 2016
Journal Journal of Applied Psychology
Print ISSN 0021-9010
Electronic ISSN 1939-1854
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 102
Issue 3
Pages 434-451
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (554 Kb)

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© 2017 APA, all rights reserved. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.

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