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Environmental leadership development
Toward a contextual model of leader selection and effectiveness
Phillip D. Vardiman, Jeffery D. Houghton and Darryl L. Jinkerson
Department of Management Sciences, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, USA
Purpose – The purposeof this article is to provide a basis for comparing the interactions between the level of environmental support for leadership development and individual leadership characteristics in determining leadership selection and effectiveness within organizations. Design/methodology/approach – A contextual model of leader selection and effectiveness examining the interactions between the level ofenvironmental support and individual leadership characteristics to predict specific research propositions based on organizational needs is presented. The paper first provides an overview of leadership selection and effectiveness research and then illustrates a contextual model of leadership selection and effectiveness. The model design is based on a four-quadrant structure with two propositions beingsuggested for each quadrant. Findings – Describes the context and proposed outcome of each respective quadrant for identifying and selecting potential leadership talent within an organization. The model also highlights the tendencies of organizational leadership to promote or select potential leadership talent from predictable employee groups based on how they match preconceived expectations. Researchlimitations/implications – The model has not yet been tested empirically. Practical implications – A very useful approach for organizations looking to improve their internal leadership development capabilities and leadership selection processes. This model lays the foundation for leadership identification and selection from all areas of an organization while emphasizing the necessity for leadershipdevelopment at all levels. Originality/value – All organizations face the challenge of leadership identification, growth, development and effectiveness. This paper offers insights into understanding how leaders are identified for growth and development within an organization and how individuals within those organizations perceive themselves participating in leadership opportunities. KeywordsLeadership, Leadership development, Organizational behaviour, Organizational culture Paper type Conceptual paper

Environmental leadership development 93
Received January 2005 Revised June 2005 Accepted August 2005

Effective leadership within an organization is often viewed as the foundation for organizational performance and growth. Organizations that lack strong leadership are likely to fail tomeet performance expectations. Leadership is often described as a process of influence toward the accomplishment of objectives (e.g. Bass, 1960; Katz and Kahn, 1966; Yukl, 1998). This view of leadership generally focuses on the dyadic relationship between a leader and follower, but not on what conditions need to be in
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of theSouthern Management Association, San Antonio, Texas; November 2004.

Leadership & Organization Development Journal Vol. 27 No. 2, 2006 pp. 93-105 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0143-7739 DOI 10.1108/01437730610646606

LODJ 27,2


place for effective leaders to emerge or be developed. In order to better understand how to enhance and develop effective leaders, one must first understandwhat causes or facilitates leadership emergence and selection. Of particular interest are contextual factors within an organization that either foster or inhibit the transition from follower to leader. Leadership theory needs to further investigate the factors that motivate organizational members to reach their full leadership potential (Bass and Avolio, 1997). An understanding of the importance of...
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