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Introduction

Common sense suggests that leadership is the most important topic in the social, behavioural, and organizational sciences. A trip through the business section of any bookstore will also reveal that it is the most popular – based on the number of books written on the topic (well over 7000). The literature on leadership falls into two discrete categories. The first, and by far the largest, contains books designed for the popular or mass market. This vast literature contains nuggets of wisdom and flashes of insights from entrepreneurs, military officers, historians, business school professors, and consultants; however, it is not systematic, empirical, or verifiable, and it lacks an assessment base. In short, it is not a foundation on which to build a reliable understanding of leadership; ...

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