Bauer Researcher Recognized for Study on Social Networks and Leadership Development

Published on August 27, 2018


Assistant Professor Kristin Cullen-Lester

Bauer College research is examining how organizations can leverage leadership development to build connections between leaders and employees.

A paper from Assistant Professor Kristin Cullen-Lester of the college’s Department of Management has been named the best of its kind for 2017 by the editorial board of the Leadership Quarterly. Cullen-Lester’s research explored the need for leaders to focus on developing the networks (e.g., communication, influence, trust) connecting people in their organizations as a part of effective leadership development.

“Many leaders do not pay attention to or are reluctant to proactively build and leverage their social connections within the organization,” Cullen-Lester said.

But by doing so, leaders are likely to find themselves, “developing meaningful relationships that help the organization, foster a sense of community and improve performance,” she said.

“For leaders, it’s not just what you know and who you know that matters, but rather, whether you know who knows who,” Cullen-Lester said.

She will present a colloquium based on the paper, “Incorporating Social Networks into Leadership Development: A conceptual model and evaluation of research and practice,” at the Center for Creative Leadership later this year.