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eISSN: 17427169 | ISSN: 17427150 | Current volume: 17 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Quarterly

Leadership is an international, peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an ongoing forum for academic researchers to exchange information, insights and knowledge based on both theoretical development and empirical research on leadership. It publishes original, high-quality articles that contribute to the advancement of the study of leadership. The journal is global in orientation and focus. As our guidelines for authors makes clear, we are particularly interested in critical approaches to leadership. Submissions must at least engage with the critical literature on leadership, even if these are ultimately rejected. Authors intending to submit a paper should consult these guidelines carefully for a deeper explanation of what types of articles we will publish (

Advancing Understanding
Leadership advances the understanding and significance of leadership in the economic, political, technological and social relations of organization and society. The journal encourages debate about the changing nature of leadership and leadership research and the dilemmas, ambiguities and complexities of leadership theory and practice, past and present.

A Wide-Ranging Approach
Leadership is the leading scholarly journal in the field of researching leadership studies, at the cutting edge of the theory and practice of leadership and organization. The main emphasis in the journal is on interdisciplinary, diverse and critical analyses of leadership processes in contemporary organizations and society. Leadership encourages new ways of researching and conceptualizing leadership. We welcome diverse methodologies and theoretical perspectives, and approaches drawn from the humanities as well as the social sciences.

Broad Readership
Leadership is essential reading for academics, researchers and students engaged with leadership within the fields and disciplines of:

· Organizational theory / studies / behaviour

· Management

· Occupational psychology

· Sociology

· Cultural studies

· Political science and History

The International Studying Leadership Conference (ISLC)

The ISLC is held annually in December. It attracts leadership researchers from all over the world. The first conference was held at Oxford University in 2002. Conference participants often comment on the critical, rigorous, constructive and supportive atmosphere that characterizes discussions and debates at the ISLC.

Authors of papers presenting their research at the conference are also strongly encouraged to submit their work for peer review in Leadership. The Leadership editorial team is particularly keen to strengthen the links between the conference and published articles in Leadership. At the conference, SAGE give an award of the best paper presented at the conference and, after peer review, this is then published in a future issue of the journal.

Twelve good reasons to publish in Leadership:

1. Leadership is a peer reviewed, international journal that publishes original research on leadership.

2. Leadership publishes a selection of the best papers from the annual International Studying Leadership Conference.

3. Leadership publishes papers that are innovative, thought-provoking and critical both in content and format.

4. Leadership encourages submissions not only from business, management and organization studies, but also from other important leadership-related disciplines such as politics, history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology.

5. Leadership is particularly keen to publish papers from parts of the world that are significantly under-represented in contemporary leadership studies.

6. Leadership encourages non-traditional submissions. These may be: a think piece, review article, a debate, conversation or extended interview.

7. Peer reviewed manuscripts will receive 'double-blind' reviewing by at least two referees. Leadership has an International Editorial Review Board of experts within the field as well as an extended group of skilled and committed referees. Decisions on manuscripts are usually made within two months of submission.

8. The journal's content is highly downloaded from the SAGE journals online platform.

9. Leadership has an Impact Factor and is ranked in the Management Journal Citation Reports® and the Social Sciences Citation Index.

10. Leadership is ranked in the CABS and ABDC quality lists.

11. SAGE Journals platform ensures that Leadership content benefits from the very latest in online search and discoverability technology.

12. Unprecedented international reach - SAGE is the world's leading independent academic publisher. We proudly retain a culture that puts quality and individual relationships first. Your article will have global reach through our principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore.

Aims and Scope

Leadership is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes the highest quality original research on leadership.

Leadership is designed to provide an ongoing forum for academic researchers to exchange information, insights and knowledge on both theoretical development and empirical research on leadership. We particularly favour papers that engage with the critical literature on leadership.

Leadership is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes the highest quality original research on leadership.


Leadership is designed to provide an ongoing forum for academic researchers to exchange information, insights and knowledge on both theoretical development and empirical research on leadership. It will publish original, high-quality articles that contribute to the advancement of the field of leadership studies.





Dennis Tourish University of Sussex, UK
Founding Editors
David Collinson Lancaster University, UK
Keith Grint University of Warwick, UK
Associate Editors
Michelle C. Bligh Claremont Graduate University, USA
Richard Bolden University of the West of England, UK
Brigid Carroll University of Auckland, New Zealand
Gareth Edwards University of the West of England, UK
Jackie Ford Durham University, UK
Brad Jackson University of Waikato, New Zealand
Doris Schedlitzki University of the West of England, UK
Owain Smolovic Jones Open University, UK
Leah Tomkins (Social Media editor) Open University, UK
Suze Wilson Massey University, New Zealand
Reviews Editor
Donna Ladkin Antioch University, USA
Editorial Board
Mats Alvesson Lund University, Sweden
Richard Badham Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, Australia
J. Kevin Barge Texas A & M University, USA
James R. Barker Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Ralph Bathurst Massey University, NZ, New Zealand
Richard Bolden University of the West of England, UK
Peter Case University of the West of England, UK
Joanne Ciulla Rutgers University Newark Business School, USA
Timothy Clark Durham University, UK
David L Collinson Lancaster University, UK
Jean-Louis Denis École Nationale d'Administration Publique, Canada
Hector R. Diaz-Saenz Tecnológico de Monterrey, México
Mike Elmes Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
Gail Fairhurst University of Cincinnati, USA
Pingping Fu The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Liz Fulop Griffith University, Australia
Yiannis Gabriel University of Bath, UK
Suzanne Gagnon University of Manitoba, Canada
Rita Gardiner The University of Western Ontario, CANADA
Jonathan Gosling University of Exeter, UK
Keith Grint University of Warwick, UK
Peter Gronn University of Cambridge, UK
Eric Guthey Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Richard Hall University of Sydney, Australia
Alma Harris Swansea University
Richard Harrison University of Edinburgh, UK
Nathan Harter Christopher Newport University, USA
Jean Hartley University of Warwick, UK
Jeff Hearn Orebro University, Sweden
Mikinari Higano Rikkyo University, Japan
Ingalill Holmberg Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Jaap. A. Hoogenboezem Maastricht University, Netherlands
J.A.S.K. Jayakody University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
Smolovic Jones Open University, UK
Mihaela Keleman University of Keele, UK
Barbara L. Kellerman Harvard Kennedy School, USA
Steve Kempster Lancaster University, UK
Jeffrey Kennedy Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Karin Klenke Northcentral University, USA
Magnus Larsson Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Jean Lipman-Blumen Claremont Graduate University, USA
Kevin Lowe University of Auckland, NZ, New Zealand
Antonio Marturano Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
Stella M Nkomo University of Pretoria, South Africa
Joseph Nye John F Kennedy School of Government, USA
Gillian Peele University of Oxford, UK
Gianpiero Petriglieri INSEAD, France
Micha Popper University of Haifa, Israel
Annie Pye Cardiff Business School, UK
Ron Riggio Claremont McKenna College, USA
Sarah Robinson University of Glasgow, UK
Paul Robson Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Eugene Sadler-Smith University of Surrey, UK
Amanda Sinclair University of Melbourne, Australia
Bert Spector Northeastern University, USA
Sverre Spoelstra Lund University, Sweden
John Storey Open University, UK
Jianmin James Sun Renmin University of China, China
Steffan Svenningson Lund University, Sweden
Robert J. Taormina University of Macau, Macau, China
Steven S. Taylor Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
Leah Tomkins Open University, UK
Angela Trethewey Arizona State University, USA
Sharon Turnbull Leadership Trust, UK
Stephen Turner University of South Florida, USA
Mats Tyrstrup Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Mary Uhl-Bien University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
Meena Wilson Center for Creative Leadership, Asia-Pacific
Patricia Yancey-Martin Florida State University, USA
Dvora Yanow Wageningen University, Netherlands
Gary Yukl UAlbany, SUNY, USA
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Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Leadership

This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Leadership will be reviewed.

There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

  1. What do we publish?
    1.1 Aims & Scope
    1.2 Article types
    1.3 Writing your paper
  2. Editorial policies
    2.1 Peer review policy
    2.2 Authorship
    2.3 Acknowledgements
    2.4 Funding
    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
  3. Publishing policies
    3.1 Publication ethics
    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
    3.3 Open access and author archiving
  4. Preparing your manuscript
    4.1 Formatting
    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
    4.3 Supplementary material
    4.4 Reference style
    4.5 English language editing services
  5. Submitting your manuscript
    5.1 ORCID
    5.2 Information required for completing your submission
    5.3 Permissions
  6. On acceptance and publication
    6.1 SAGE Production
    6.2 Online First publication
    6.3 Access to your published article
    6.4 Promoting your article
  7. Further information

1. What do we publish?

1.1 Aims & Scope

Before submitting your manuscript to Leadership, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

1.2 Article Types

The journal publishes original full length theoretical, empirical and review-based articles on all Leadership-related themes. Full papers are generally restricted to a maximum of 10,000 words, including all elements (title page, abstract, notes, references, tables, biographical statement, etc.). Authors who suspect that their articles will have to be cut anyway should make the required deletions before submitting.
Leadership is particularly interested in critical approaches to its subject. While we do not intend to create a ghetto of critical Leadership literature, we do insist that the critical literature is at least engaged with, even if it is ultimately discounted. Papers that fail to take relevant critical literature into account will be rejected. Contributors are encouraged to read the Editorial published in our May 2015 issue, where what we look for in submissions is clearly spelled out.

The journal welcomes contributions using any social science method, as long the method is applied in line with best practice in that field. In line with our  focus on actual social relationships, we do not publish work drawing mainly or only on student samples as a surrogate for work organizations.

In addition to regular articles, Leadership publishes non-standard ‘think pieces’ in the ‘Leading Questions’ section. This provides an ‘open space’ to accommodate work that does not fit easily into the standard journal article format. The editors encourage the submission of a broad range of commentaries on Leadership that could include shorter articles, roundtable discussions and debates, one-on-one interviews and other ‘provocative pieces’ that explore key Leadership-related issues, dilemmas and challenges. Work published in ‘Leading Questions’ raises important questions about Leadership theory, research, methodology, development and/or practice. This section has no maximum or minimum word length. Size is much less important than the capacity of a ‘think piece’ to raise new issues for Leadership in innovative, challenging and creative ways.

Full papers are generally restricted to a maximum of 10,000 words, including all elements (title page, abstract, notes, references, tables, biographical statement, etc.). We are reluctant to burden our referees with very long manuscripts. Authors who suspect that their articles will have to be cut anyway should make the required deletions before submitting.

1.3 Writing your paper

The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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2. Editorial policies

2.1 Peer review policy

Leadership adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties. To ensure anonymity in the double blind refereeing process, the author's name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. If using Microsoft Word the manuscript 'Summary', under the menu 'File/Properties/Summary', should be erased. In addition, references to previous work by the author should be cited so as to maintain anonymity, such as 'Author, 2004: 23'.

2.2 Authorship

All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

2.3 Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

2.3.1 Third party submissions

Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

  • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
  • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
  • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

2.3.2 Writing assistance

Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”).

It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

2.4 Funding

Leadership requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

Leadership encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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3. Publishing Policies

3.1 Publication ethics

SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

3.1.1 Plagiarism

Leadership and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

3.1.2 Prior publication

If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

3.3 Open access and author archiving

Leadership offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information on Open Access publishing options at SAGE please visit SAGE Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

4.1 Formatting

The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.  

Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

4.3 Supplementary material

This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

4.4 Reference style

Leadership adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file.

4.5 English language editing services

Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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5. Submitting your manuscript

Leadership is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.


As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

5.2 Information required for completing your submission

You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

5.3 Permissions

Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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6. On acceptance and publication

6.1 SAGE Production

Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

6.2 Online First publication

Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

6.3 Access to your published article

SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

6.4 Promoting your article

Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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7. Further information

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Leadership editorial office as follows:

Individual Subscription, Print Only

Institutional Subscription, E-access

Institutional Subscription, Print Only

Institutional Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)

Individual, Single Print Issue

Institutional, Single Print Issue

ePlatform, Single Issue 24 hour E-access