Chapter | Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice | 2010

Advancing Leadership Theory and Practice

by Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria


More than a means of getting ahead and gaining power, leadership must be understood as a serious professional and personal responsibility. In this introductory chapter, editors Nitin Nohria, the dean of Harvard Business School, and Rakesh Khurana, a professor of leadership development at HBS, point out that while many university graduate programs in business, law, education, and public policy claim that their mission is to educate leaders who will advance the well-being of society, the reality is that scholarly research on leadership is, at best, at the periphery of these same universities. In fact, the increasing demand for insights about leadership has largely been met by popular writers--consultants, journalists, or "iconic" business leaders. The papers that comprise this book--originally presented at the Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium, "Leadership: Advancing an Intellectual Discipline"--are a starting point. Nohria and Khurana define five dualities that they believe are at the heart of research on leadership--for example, the duality between the leader's role in producing superior results and the leader's role in creating meaning. The chapter concludes with a brief summary of each of the book's 25 subsequent chapters.

Keywords: Leadership; Practice; Research; Theory;


Khurana, Rakesh, and Nitin Nohria. "Advancing Leadership Theory and Practice." Chap. 1 in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana. Harvard Business Press, 2010.