Dr. Peter Northouse's Leadership Lecture at UIUC

On Sept. 26 2012, Illinois Leadership Center (contact: Mr. Heath Harding, Associate Director) hosted a special lecture of Dr. Peter Northouse - the prominent leadership scholar in the world. Dr. Peter Northouse is well-known his seminal textbook of "Leadership: Theory & Practice - http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book235117). Dr. Peter Northouse presented his insights about leadership. 

Place: Levis Faculty Center

Time: Sept. 26, 2012, Noon ~ 1PM

Contributions from the Theories

  • Trait approach: intuitively appealing/meager results
  • Skills approach: expansive/ general and less precise
  • Style approach: task/process powerful constructs
  • Situational approach: pragmatic/weak research
  • Contingency approach: abstruse but good data
  • Path goal : expectancy approach/pragmatic appeal
  • LMX: in & ut groups real/how to begin groupness
  • Transformational approach: the moral issue / factors
  • Authentic leadership: developmental / untested
  • Psychodynamic approach: deals with authority issue

What's Hot - What's not


Not hot 

Civic responsibility / ethics

Character / values/ strengths

Servant leadership

Complexity theory

Emotional intelligence

Leader centricity / followers / context

Trait theory



Situational leadership
Leadership / management
Contingency theory 

* The follower centric approach is not much addressed, but it is getting hotter and hotter as information flourish. 

* As information flourish, followers challenge leadership authority and legitimacy. 

The role of Stories and Leadership (narrative)

* President Barack Obama

- Harvard Lawyer, Community organizer, First African American President...more

* Former governor Mitt Romney

- Harvard Lawyer, Mormon bishop, Massachusetts Health Care Plan... more

Importance of LIfe Stories: 

"Life-stories are a major source of leader authenticity"

(Shamir & Eilam (2005: Leadership Quartely, 16, 295-417. 

- LIfe stories provide a meaning system

- Life stories provide information about clarifies the leader's values and convictions.

- Life stories help leaders establish an identity. 

Trait Leadership is Alive

"Must Great Leaders Be Gregarious?"

* Susan Cain - Author of The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking

Resources in Leadership



Internatioanl Leadership Association

Center for Creative Leadership

National Clearninghouse for Leadership Programs

Regent University

Leadership quarterly, and many other journals


  • Theory exists and it can inform practice
  • We can all learn to improve our leadership
  • Effective leadership builds community and enhances the common ground


Q: Why does situational leadership is not hot anymore? 

A: Situational leadership did not get many academic supports. 

Q: What's your current research? 

A: Ethical leadership style; Calvinistic approach; Feministic approach 

Q: What is ethical leadership?

A: Distribute common goods. How way of ethic behaviors of leadership make different consequences? 

I had a chance to ask a question. "There is a big tension between managers and employees from my interviews at a subsidiary MNC in Korea. Managers demands more self-directed employee behavior while employees want more autonomy. In business literature, there is a self-leadership concept. Do you think the self-leadership is one of 'leadership' theory or it is self-directed behavior stuff?" 

Dr. Peter Northouse replied that "it sounds like a 'self-directed behavior' rather than self-leadership' because self-leadership has no 'leader-follower' relationship. He suggested me to look on 'Robert House's GLOBE study' to address cultural difference in MNC. 

I really thanked his kind and insightful comments. In addition, I am very honored that he gave me a signature with the best wish.

Jeonghwan Choi

Sept 26, 2012


Posted by Jeonghwan Choi

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