A Productive Clash of Cultures: Injecting Economics into Leadership Research

48 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016

See all articles by Christian Zehnder

Christian Zehnder

University of Lausanne

Holger Herz

University of Zurich

Jean-Philippe Bonardi

University of Lausanne

Date Written: November 15, 2016

Abstract

Research on leadership in economics has developed in parallel to the literature in management and psychology and links between the fields have been sparse. Whereas modern leadership scholars mostly focus on transformational and related leadership styles, economists have mainly emphasized the role of contracts, control rights, and incentives. We argue that both fields could profit from enriching their approach with insights from the other field. We review and synthesize the economics literature on leadership in organizations and discuss how leadership scholars in management and psychology can benefit from the detailed understanding of transactional methods that economists have developed. We link the contributions in economics to a broad set of topics including the foundations of leadership, leader emergence, and leader effectiveness. At the same time, we also point out limitations of the economic approach and outline how the integration of leadership research and economics would broaden the scope of future studies.

Keywords: leadership, economics, foundations, emergence, effectiveness

Suggested Citation

Zehnder, Christian and Herz, Holger and Bonardi, Jean-Philippe, A Productive Clash of Cultures: Injecting Economics into Leadership Research (November 15, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6175. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885835

Christian Zehnder

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Holger Herz (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Jean-Philippe Bonardi

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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