Are leaders born or made?


Answered By: Kimberly Boyd
Last Updated: Mar 14, 2018     Views: 16


To answer this question, you have to understand development. Then you can think critically about the topic and come to a conclusion, even if the resources don't specifically tell you.

Link to and search the library catalog, in the middle of the page. Start with leadership development. When the results load, use the left-side toolbar to narrow the search to full text. Because this is a question about a theory - the theories of leadership development - there's no need to limit your results by date. Some good theories go way back! You will see ebooks listed first, like

  • Avolio, B. (2005). Leadership development in balance : Made/born. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Click the View eBook button to get to the table of contents, where you can click into the relevant chapters.

If you also need articles, return to the left-side toolbar and click peer-reviewed. Change the search to leadership development AND born. Because articles are less about theory and more about application, limit the dates to the last 5 years. This will provide lots of good results including

  • Pandya, T., Dirks, R., & Kwok, A. (2017). Leaders are made, not born: A leadership development curriculum for general surgery residents. Journal of the American College of Surgeons: Supplement 2, 225(4), 155. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2017.07.945
  • Brotherton, P. (2013). Leadership: Nature or nurture? T D, 67(2), 25-25.

You might also want to search for articles in the databases.  The Business Administration Libguide has a number of resources that may be useful. On the articles tab, choose ABI Inform Complete by Proquest. If your assignment requires that you use only scholarly sources you will want to be sure to go ahead and check the Scholarly Journal button below the search bar to limit your results to scholarly sources.  There is a good bit of unscholarly and trade materials in the database and this will keep those sources out of your results.  Next click the full text box to limit your results to articles that you have access to.

Next enter your search terms.  I used Leadership AND Nature AND Nurture and I got some good results.  Be sure to include the word AND between your search term keywords.  You may also want to try this search in Academic Search Complete.

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