Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Courtney Gehret


For decades, researchers have been studying leadership and have found it to be very difficult to fully understand. A basic knowledge of leadership is available, but the details are hard to specify. These details include the complexity of the construct of leadership (Bass & Stogdill, 1990), the difficulty of forming a single definition or theoretical perspective from many possible options (Edmunds & Yewchuk, 1996; Simonton, 1995), and the lack of valid and reliable measures of leadership ability (Edmunds, 1998; Jarosewich, Pfeiffer, & Morris, 2002). All of these issues make researching leadership difficult because it is hard to gain new knowledge and understanding of a topic when there is not a solid foundation to build upon. Leadership has been examined on multiple levels including gifted programs in primary schools and leadership development in business, but not a lot of research has specifically looked at the college student and how they view and develop leadership. This study will focus on college student leaders and how they define leadership. Specifically, it will compare student leaders who are in a program designed to enhance leadership development with student leaders who are not receiving formal leadership training.


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