Last Updated May 13, 2010 7:59 AM EDT
"If we look at the leading research universities and at the business schools within them, the topic of leadership is actually given fairly short shrift," says Harvard Business School professor Rakesh Khurana, who along with newly appointed HBS Dean Nitin Nohria has just published the Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice.
But that's all changing now, and the results could fundamentally change how we operate our businesses in the not-to-distant future. Leadership is now a hotbed of scholarly interest and in a variety of fields. The book aims to collect together the latest research and key writings of the world's foremost scholars in psychology, economics, sociology, and history.
Among its conclusions:
- Leaders do not require a formal position; rather, leadership is how one experiences oneself and how others experience us as individuals.
- Leadership has to be understood through a variety of perspectives: impact, theory, variability; leadership in practice; and leadership development.
- There is no single "best" style of leadership nor one set of attributes in all situations, no matter what management books you pick up at the airport may tell you.