Social cognitive neuroscience and leadership

David Waldman, Pierre A. Balthazard, Suzanne Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


We provide an overview of how the emerging field of social cognitive neuroscience can be linked to leadership theory and practice. A number of challenges are addressed, including theory development, as well as technical, measurement and methodological issues. In addition, we review recent leadership research that involves neuroscience applications, as well as areas that are closely related to leadership, such as emotional regulation and ethical reasoning and decision-making. Consideration is also given to how neuroscience might inform leadership development processes. We conclude with a discussion of the institutional challenges in conducting leadership research that incorporates neuroscience, and we consider potential limitations of such applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1092-1106
Number of pages15
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Leadership
  • Social cognitive neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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