The 8 primary features of practical leadership and management wisdom

Research Briefing

Keywords: wisdom, practical wisdom, leadership wisdom, management wisdom, decision-making, leadership decision-making, management decision-making

Just a quick look at the number of peer-reviewed research articles on the following topics probably tells you everything you need to know about the overall research effort being put into leadership or management wisdom:

Number of papers (all time)

  • Leadership decision-making: in excess of 2,640,000 papers
  • Management decision-making: in excess of 2,220,000 papers
  • Management wisdom: 674 papers
  • Leadership wisdom: 364 papers

Not only is wisdom the poor relation of decision-making, it is fascinating to note that there are approximately twice as many management wisdom papers than leadership wisdom papers.

Previous studies have found that concept of practical wisdom is somewhat of a ‘slippery concept’. The ambiguity around being able to define what wisdom is and how to become wise/have wisdom probably accounts for some of this lack of attention. A number of previous researchers have concluded that the idea of practical wisdom is so fuzzy and difficult to analyse that providing research-based conclusions and guidance with any level of certainty has hitherto been virtually impossible.

The situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that there is little agreement between researchers about the tools and methods for conducting research into practical wisdom.

A new study by a team of researchers has conducted a wide ranging synthesis of research into practical leadership and management wisdom in an effort to bring some clarity to the field and provide a framework to help thinking about this topic.

This research briefing will be really useful for anyone involved in leadership and leadership development, or who are interested in wisdom in the workplace.

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Sofronio Jadulco

Sophie is a core member of the Oxford Review. She started working with us in 2017 and hands a diverse range of really important jobs from social media to marketing and customer support. Sophie is the efficient member of the team, making sure all those background tasks get done just right. Without her, almost none of what happens in the background would get done.