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Encouraging Leadership Practice in Leadership Education

“Advancing Leadership Education and Development: Integrating Adult Learning Theory.” Journal of Management Education (2021)

Scott Allen, Associate Professor of Management in the Boler College, along with coauthors David Rosch and Ronald Riggio argue that business schools can enhance management education hewing closely to their stated missions.  The authors note that many business schools include leader development in their mission statements, yet they rely heavily on developing students’ knowledge of leadership theory rather than how to practice it.  They suggest business schools incorporate adult learner theories in their approach to teaching leadership, favoring teaching methods and leadership curricula that emphasize management practice and reflection.  Allen and his coauthors provide a framework for recasting business education with examples from medical schools and military officer training.  The authors “do not suggest that business schools need a complete “overhaul” within their work; such an extreme response is neither realistic nor called for.”  They point out that business education already includes approaches modeled in medical and military training.  They suggest, however, that leaning further into teaching leadership through practice may better prepare students to become our future business leaders.

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