In 2004, SAGE published the Berkshire-conceived Encyclopedia of Leadership. It was the first comprehensive survey of leadership studies and contains 1.2 million words divided among 375 referred articles, 3 appendices, 300 sidebars, and 150 illustrations.  The entire project was developed Berkshire Publishing with an editorial board of 16 leadership scholars, with James MacGregor Burns as Senior Editor.

Exploring Leadership Studies through the Encyclopedia of Leadership

The research reported here is a preliminary effort to identify the key publications and scholars in leadership studies. It is an exercise in citation history research and is based on the citations used by the authors of the articles in the Encyclopedia of Leadership. Each article contains a Further Reading section listing publications used by the author in writing the article and key publications on the topic available to the general reader. There are about 7,500 citations in the entire work, of which about 6,000 are unique (the others being duplicates cited in more than one article). The largest number are to journal articles followed by those to books and then chapters in edited collections. This list of citations provides a unique and valuable resource that can tell us much about the nature of leadership studies in 2003. This information is useful to scholars who study leaders and leadership, practitioners who seek to apply knowledge, and those who teach leadership. In addition, the authors of the articles often mention leaders in their articles, as examples of both what they consider exemplary and questionable leadership and sometimes both. A search for these mentions of leaders across the 375 articles has enabled us to produce a list of the leaders who are most frequently mentioned in leadership studies. These posters are a first pass at organizing and presenting some of this information with the hope of stimulating comment and more research in the future. The posters provide three sets of information:

(1) leaders who are most frequently mentioned

(2) scholars whose work is most often cited

(3) publications most often cited

Conclusions: What Do These Citations Tell Us?

These conclusions are preliminary and are subject to revision in future analyses which correct the biases in the data discussed below.

Leadership studies is a field dominated by men.

Only one woman (Joanne Ciulla) is among the most-cited authors, and men are the authors or the senior authors of all the most-cited publications. This is the case despite the inclusion of several dozen articles on women and leadership and specific women leaders. In addition, only three women make the list of most-mentioned leaders and all are near the bottom of the list.

Leadership studies is a field very much about the here and now.

Nearly all the most-cited authors are Americans and all of the most-cited publications were published in the United States. And 10 of the 14 most-cited works have been published since 1990. However, when it comes to leaders mentioned in articles, there is more cross-cultural coverage and much more time depth.

The leaders of most interest are mainly from the past and those who have transformed the world.

The founders of five major world religions are here, as are leaders of most of the major intellectual and social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. National leaders (especially American presidents) are well represented while business leaders barely make the list.


Leaders Mentioned Most Often

Leader# of ArticlesDomain
Adolf Hitler40Government and Politics
Gandhi30Government and Politics; Social Change
Martin Luther King, Jr.29Social Change; Religion
Winston Churchill23Government and Politics
Jesus23Religion; Social Change
John F. Kennedy23Government and Politics
Ronald Reagan21Government and Politics
Josef Stalin21Government and Politics
Dwight D. Eisenhower20Military; Government and Politics
Sigmund Freud20Intellectual
Bill Clinton18Government and Politics
Franklin D. Roosevelt18Government and Politics
Mao Zedong16Government and Politics; Social Change
Moses16Religion; Social Change
Nelson Mandela16Government and Politics; Social Change
Abraham Lincoln14Government and Politics
Karl Marx12Intellectual; Social Change
George W. Bush12Government and Politics
Muhammad11Religion; Social Change
Bill Gates11Science and Technology; Business and Commerce
Buddha10Religion; Social Change
Lyndon B. Johnson10Government and Politics
Theodore Roosevelt10Government and Politics
Henry Ford9Science and Technology; Business and Commerce
George Patton8Military
Confucius7Religion; Social Change
Jack Welch7Business and Commerce
Eleanor Roosevelt6Social Change
Betty Friedan6Social Change
John D. Rockefeller6Business and Commerce
Susan B. Anthony5Social Change
Andrew Carnegie5Business and Commerce

Authors Cited Most Often

This is a list of individual authors and how many times their publications in total are cited in all articles in the encyclopedia. The list is somewhat biased in that it includes self-citations and also counts as a full citation those citations where the individual is only one of two or more authors. This penalizes scholars who did not write an article and cannot cite themselves and works to the benefit of scholars who wrote several articles. It also treats all types of publications (books, journal articles, edited works, etc.) as equal. Nonetheless, it does serve as a general indicator of whose work is referred to most often by those who study leadership.

Author# of Articles
Bernard Bass43
Robert J. House40
Bruce Avolio39
James McGregor Burns35
Jay Conger28
Edwin P. Hollander23
James R. Meindl23
Ronald Riggio23
Robert Lord21
Warren Bennis17
Martin Chemers16
Joanne Ciulla16
Gary Yukl16
Michael Hogg15
Howard Gardner14
Edgar Schein14
Robert Sternberg14
Edwin Locke13
David McClelland12
Robert Quinn12
Boaz Shamir12
Daniel Goleman11
Barry Z. Posner11
Dean Tjosvold11
Max Weber11
David G. Winter11
Ronald Heifetz10
Victor Vroom10

Publications Cited Most Often

This list focuses on publications rather than the people who wrote them. The fourteen publications listed here are cited in five or more articles. Many other publications are cited three or four times. As with the individuals list, self-citations are included while only one edition of multiple edition works are included. Most affected by this latter bias is Yukl, whose number would increase to 10 if all editions were counted.

20Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.
11Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.
10Gardner, H. (1995). Leading minds: An anatomy of leadership. New York: Basic Books.
7Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership. New York: Free Press.
7Heifetz, R. A. (1994). Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press.
6Gardner, J. (1990). On leadership. New York: Free Press.
6Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline. New York: Doubleday.
6Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in organizations (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
5Bennis, W. G., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York: Harper & Row.
5Gerstner, C. R., & Day, D. V. (1997). Meta-analytic review of leader-member exchange theory: Correlates and construct issues. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 827<N>844.
5McClelland, D. C. (1985). Human motivation. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.
5Meindl, J. R., & Ehrlich, S. B. (1987). The romance of leadership and the evaluation of organizational performance. Academy of Management Journal, 30(1), 91<N>109.
5Schein, E. H. (1992). Organizational culture and leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
5Shamir, B., House, R. J., & Arthur, M. B. (1993). The motivational effects of charismatic leadership: A self-concept based theory. Organizational Science, 4(4) 577<N>594.



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