University of Edinburgh Business School

Leadership development: Developing the Strategic Mindset

Today’s leaders must anticipate changes in rapid paced, global environments. What are the ways in which strategic leaders not only think creatively themselves but also encourage creativity and innovation in their colleagues and employees? What are the ways in which these skill sets are developed that most benefit leaders and their organisations?

Professor Susan Murphy is currently engaged in three research areas on leadership and the leadership development process. First, her work on leader identity as a precursor and outcome of leadership development is a follow up of work with U.S. and U.K. colleagues. She is examining this in the context of early leadership development and investigating conflict among leader identities that are rooted in societal expectations, yet incompatible with organisational requirements. She is part of a grant proposal to the Leverhulme Foundation to explore these relationships.

Second, as a follow-up to earlier work in television and film leadership through directors, producers, and top management, she is looking to these creative industries to extract lessons to apply to other sectors seeking to improve creativity and innovation. Third, she is continuing her work on gender and leadership looking at stereotypes for aging male and female leaders. Given stagnant numbers in female CEOs around the world, this line of study will lead to understanding of additional issues behind leadership success rates. The studies will attend to financial, personality, and laboratory study outcomes to understand these issues.