Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Diversity (LEAD)


Leadership is one of the most important concerns of the 21st century. Because of their disproportionate control over people, policies, and resources, leaders often determine whether their followers experience conflict or cooperation, justice or tyranny, inspiration or dejection, and prosperity or poverty. For these reasons, it is important to understand the processes that affect leader emergence, leadership effectiveness, and the extent to which leaders represent the populations that they serve.

The LEAD centre is unique in that it focuses on the intersection of leadership, ethics, and diversity. It is important that leadership be examined in the context of ethics. Indeed, history is rife with examples of ruthless leaders who have perpetrated economic and humanitarian disasters in the service of self-interest. Understanding the processes that lead to a more ethical and socially responsible exercise of power is critical to the creation of not only moral, but optimally functional, organisations, industries, and societies.

We believe that leaders should serve and reflect the broad spectrum of their followers rather than a narrow subset. Leaders who are inclusive and impartial are better able to capitalize on the full range of diverse talent from their human capital. Greater diversity within leadership positions can also have positive organisational outcomes. Results from several studies and meta-analyses show that women are often more effective than men in leadership roles, and that boards with more diverse members often outperform boards with more homogeneous memberships. Currently, about 95% of leaders in top-level leaders in the UK and the US are white males. One objective of LEAD is to understand this gross underrepresentation and to promote greater diversity in leadership roles and organisations more broadly.

LEAD brings together a host of scholars from various schools and disciplines to examine topics related to leadership, power, diversity, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, corruption, human resource management, organizational theory, human attachment, and collective and social identity. LEAD provides a forum for dialogue and cross-fertilization on these issues by sponsoring research collaborations, academic colloquia, and roundtable discussions.

Click here to see a sampling of research papers published by various members of LEAD.