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The Science of LeadershipLessons from Research for Organizational Leaders$
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Julian Barling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199757015

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757015.001.0001

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Are Leaders Born or Made?

Are Leaders Born or Made?

(p.122) (p.123) Chapter 5 Are Leaders Born or Made?
The Science of Leadership

Julian Barling

Oxford University Press

Whether leadership is “born or made” has long intrigued theorists, management practitioners and the lay public. While many believe that leadership in iconic figures such as Nelson Mandela must surely be something he was born with, the chapter opens with a study of his early life, effectively demonstrating the complexity of the issue. The effects of exposure to adversity early in one’s life, and social, family and non-familial influences on the later development of leadership, are discussed. Some of the most interesting and provocative recent research findings have shown that genetic factors are also implicated in the question of who emerges as a leader, and on leadership behaviors. While most of this research focuses on high quality leadership, the role of family influences in the development of destructive leadership has also been identified

Keywords:   nelson mandela, early adversity, family influence, genetic influence, parental influence, leader role occupancy, leader emergence, transformational leadership, abusive supervision

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