Academic Leadership: The Online Journal (2003-2012)


Susan Madsen


The development of leadership has been a critical concern of many organizational leaders in various sectors (public, private, and social) across the globe. To better understand this complex phenomenon, researchers (e.g., Bass, 1990; Bennis, 1989) have been conducting leadership studies for decades in various disciplines (e.g., education, management, psychology). Yet, studies in these disciplines on developing women leaders are just emerging as an important focus of researchers and practitioners in many countries throughout the world. In many regions it has become evident that the process of developing women leaders is particularly multifaceted and challenging. There are numerous complexities inherent in understanding women’s developmental backgrounds and journeys (e.g., culture, traditions, religion, values, backgrounds, education, work-family issues, self-concept, gender barriers, expectations, previous opportunities, perceived future opportunities) that play a critical role in this challenging task. This is most definitely the case in the journey toward understanding how to develop future women leaders within China.


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