Leadership Development Models and Practices in India: Review of Literature

Meera Alagaraja, Denise M. Cumberland, and Ann Herd


With increasing globalization, there is a strong evidence of the proliferation of leadership development (LD) theories and perspectives in both research and practice around the world (Day, 2001). The increasing complexity of leader and leadership development perspectives in theory and research enhances direct relevance to practice for organizations and for the managers and leaders who lead them. Burgeoning interests in leader and leadership development research in organizational practice have strongly connected scholars and practitioners (Gupta & Singh, 2015). The relevance to practice is an important driver and outcome of research on leader and leadership development. With an India-specific focus, we review both scholar and practitioner literatures and integrate key findings on this topic.

The purpose of this chapter is to review leadership and leader development literature in the national culture-specific context of India. Existing research emphasizes the application of leadership theories, models and research across national contexts and cultures. Cross-cultural researchers study transfer of leadership development theory, research and practices

M. Alagaraja (*) • D.M. Cumberland • A. Herd University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA

© The Author(s) 2017

A. Ardichvili, K. Dirani (eds.), Leadership Development in Emerging Market Economies, DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-58003-0_4

from the USA to other country contexts. Less attention is paid to indigenous scholar-practitioner publications that apply leadership development theory and research to their country-specific contexts. We address the gap by reviewing leader and leadership development literature and examine emerging leadership development practices in India. The primary purpose of this chapter is to review and identify scholar-practitioner literature on: (a) leadership development theories and models as applied to the specific context India and (b) examine emerging practices in leader and leadership development in India. We present implications for future research and practice in leader and leadership development in India.

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