Essay Example on Leadership Development Literature Review

Published: 2022-11-09
Essay Example on Leadership Development Literature Review
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Literature review Leadership development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1470 words
13 min read

Introduction Leadership development is the process through which leadership skills and potential in young people is recognized and given an opportunity to grow. Leadership development involves the encouragement of positive values and beliefs to serve other people and also ensuring ethical behavior by the leaders of tomorrow. Leaders are central towards achieving social change and identifying and nurturing leaders from an early age in colleges can make a significant difference in promoting socially responsible leadership (Teague, 2015). Different leadership development approaches have been implemented in colleges with the aim of promoting multicultural social interactions through leadership. Leadership is viewed as an approach of promoting engagement of students into meaningful activities within the community and also in schools. Students are encouraged to engage in student associations and groups activities to be able to develop leadership skills by understanding the multicultural needs of students which can be met through effective leadership. This paper will review key literature on leadership development in institutions of high learning.

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Leadership Development in Diverse Campus Environment

Promotion of Multicultural Interactions

According to Riutta & Teodorescu (2014), the education system is very keen towards developing leadership, and many colleges and universities have invested heavily towards promoting leadership in a culturally diverse college environment. Development of leadership in colleges and universities is advanced through the student's co-curricular activities which promote intercultural interactions between the students. The culturally diverse school population is an adequate opportunity for colleges and universities in the United States of America to develop future leaders through the groups, organizations, and clubs made by students from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. Riutta & Teodorescu (2014) study on leadership development seeks to understand the operationalization of intercultural interactions in colleges and universities to develop diverse leadership which is needed in the future when the American population will be diverse with the reduction of white dominance.

Extracurricular Activities and Peer Relationships

Leadership is viewed as an opportunity to change society through collaborative and value-based processes in college activities and organizations. Significant efforts have been put towards creating socially responsible leadership models that facilitate nurturing of diverse leaders in schools of high learning which are made by people from different cultural backgrounds. Extracurricular activities and interactions of students in a multicultural environment according to Riutta & Teodorescu (2014) has improved leadership development. The out of classroom activities in clubs and student groups have been vital in facilitating leadership development in colleges and universities. Peer relationships of the students from diverse backgrounds have been vital in leadership development, and the ability of students to maintain intercultural relations was an indicator of leadership development and skills.

International Students and Women Leadership Participation in Higher Education

Promoting international students involvement in college leadership

According to Collier & Rosch (2016), there has been a surge in the number of international students joining American colleges and Universities which is changing the structure and composition of the student population. Previously, less effort has been exerted on developing leadership development programs for the international students owing to their low population compared to the domestic students. Therefore, new programs are multicultural which offers international students an opportunity to participate in college leadership (Collier & Rosch, 2016). Research availability in the international student's segment has increased as more attention is being given to the increasing number of international enrollments and its impact. International students have been found to have less confidence in leadership compared to their domestic counterparts due to lack of institutional support and discrimination. However, this is going to change due to the International Student Services which seeks to empower international students by promoting cultural and social interactions. This new focus can significantly encourage higher co-curricular involvement and social support of the international students (Collier & Rosch, 2016). The leadership development and involvement gap between the international and domestic students can be linked to the poor social interactions between the domestic and the international students (Collier & Rosch, 2016).

Gender diversity in college leadership

Gender variation in leadership representation in colleges is a major issue of concern with women lagging in leadership representation in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology faculties. According to Dugan et al., (2013), women in leadership roles has faced a boost from educational initiatives seeking to increase gender equity, but the results are still in favor of men who dominate most leadership positions in colleges especially in scientifically related faculties. Addressing leadership inequality in colleges can play a significant role in eliminating inequality in the workforce. In the scientific, engineering, technology and mathematical fields women have the lowest representation which is blamed on the institutional barriers. The scientific faculties are highly dominated by the male gender mainly due to the small number of females pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines in colleges compared to males. Due to the low female representation poor peer support networks and stereotypes has led to the domination of men in the science related faculties which has resulted in the devaluation and negative discrimination and psychological barriers against women representation. The study by Dugan et al. (2013) notes that despite equal leadership capacity between men and women, females have the least leadership efficacy during college. This negative leadership efficacy affecting women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculties can be improved through mentoring although the low number of females in the faculties poses a challenge towards mentoring women. Besides, community service and off-campus jobs have been found to increase women leadership efficacy.

Opportunities for College Leadership Development

Student's association's role in leadership development

According to Amirianzadeh et al. (2011), student association has an important role in developing leaders and leadership potential. Leader's role in the societies is immense, and there has been a significant emphasis on developing leadership in higher education institutions through membership in school associations which contributes to student leadership development. Students who are engaged in university associations can deal with challenges well compared to other students, and also such positions can expose student leaders to greater responsibilities, independence, and positive attitude towards life which is a necessity for every leader. The authors note that association leadership participation increases student's interactions and involvement in future leadership. Career and technical education is an opportunity towards developing leadership competencies amongst young people who are the future leaders. There is a growing demand for leaders as current retiring leaders are leaving behind a vacuum which can only be filled through the development of young people leadership potential. Career and technology education leadership development seeks to improve the potential of young people (Amirianzadeh et al. 2011). Leadership development is future-oriented with greater emphasis on transformational leadership which influence can create followership. Vocational leadership educators were found by the research to play an essential role in leadership development due to high participation.

Spiritual growth and leadership development

The research by Stonecipher (2015) holds that leadership development in colleges can be affected by spiritual experiences by the students. The social model was argued as the most effective approach to achieve spirituality by establishing holistic values which can create social change. Change in values has a direct relationship to the development of leadership values. The study found a positive correlation between spirituality and the development of socially responsible leadership which indicate that the students who are engaged in spiritual growth also achieve high leadership development. A social model can be used to cultivate student values can be used to enhance leadership skills as well as students commitment towards responsible leadership. A cognitive leadership model should be put in place which involves individual goal setting, reflection, and self-assessment. Leadership programs should be on the job and created in academic areas using a multidisciplinary approach (Amirianzadeh et al., 2011). Using an experimental transformational leadership curriculum increased female participation in leadership roles while at the same time creating community leadership programs were encouraged to promote a change in leadership behavior and attitude.


Leadership is an important source of social capital because it promotes creativity and opportunities for young people to be engaged in creating solutions for the problems facing the community. Colleges and Universities are important social institutions where leadership skills and competence can be developed and enhanced through social interactions. Cultural diversity and the student organizations provides the students with an opportunity to exercise their leadership skills. Leadership education is a significant opportunity and approach that can be used to increase international and domestic student's sociocultural acceptance which can boost confidence and motivate international students to participate in school leadership. Co-curricular leadership programs can be used to bridge the gap between the foreign and domestic students participation in leadership and to make them have greater confidence and a sense of belonging to the college and university communities. Meaningful social change can be achieved by advocating for leadership development in colleges which helps create positive pro-social values amongst young people who are the future leaders.

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