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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines whether, how, and why training and development can help political leaders to become more effective in leadership. The chapter deploys theory and concepts from organizational psychology, generic leadership theory, and political science to address these questions. It establishes key concepts with which to analyse these questions: whether leadership is nature or nurture; developmental trajectories; leadership challenges; capabilities and forms of knowledge; training or development; leader or leadership development before considering the role of development interventions. Four frameworks are applied to considering training and development for politicians, showing the need to consider not just the individual but also the leadership group, and to take account of the type of challenges being addressed and the type of interventions that may assist the acquisition or enhancement of leadership skills and judgement. While the academic and practice field remains small in the early twenty-first century, it is growing and there is at least some limited evidence that training and development is feasible and can achieve positive outcomes for leadership behaviours. Further research is needed to amplify and theorize what works, for whom, in what roles, and with what leadership challenges, and why.

Keywords: Leader, leadership, training, development, capabilities, development interventions

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