Neuroscience of leadership

David Waldman, Pierre A. Balthazard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This chapter overviews how neuroscience can provide a new lens to understand leadership processes in organizations. We describe how neurological scanning can be applied to leadership research, as well as its potential advantages over more traditional techniques, such as surveys. Research to date is summarized pertaining to how neuroscience can inform such conceptualizations as transformational, complex/adaptive, and ethical forms of leadership. Findings indicate that effective versus not-so-effective leaders can be distinguished neurologically, and such assessment can benefit the prediction of important leadership outcomes. We caution that context needs to be taken into account in that not only can neurological variables associated with leaders affect organizational behavior and outcomes, but it is equally important to understand how the context can affect neurological qualities of individuals. Finally, we describe how it may be possible to use neurofeedback techniques to help develop leadership qualities of people in industry and in education programs, such as those in business schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-211
Number of pages23
JournalMonographs in Leadership and Management
StatePublished - 2015


  • Leadership
  • Neurofeedback
  • Neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuroscience of leadership'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this