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Expert Leadership Research

My research suggests choosing charismatic general managers for senior leadership positions over core-business experts (such as doctors in hospitals) is wrong.


I am an Associate Professor in Leadership at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), at City, University of London.

My research looks at the relationship between leaders and managers, and organisational performance. It shows, across all kinds of work settings, that leaders who have a deep understanding of the core business – ‘expert leaders’ – create higher organisational performance. Being a good manager alone is not a sufficient condition. Generalist leaders are associated with lower overall performance.

Our findings suggest this happens because bosses and line managers who have ‘walked-the-walk’ create the right work environment that leads to higher employee job satisfaction, and lower intentions to quit. In short, expert bosses are more competent, and they know how to develop and support their teams.

Evidence underlying the ‘theory of expert leadership’ comes from healthcare, universities, Formula 1, professional basketball, among professionals, from large samples of randomly selected employees, and most recently, in a study that examines the boss of every single firm in a European country.

I publish in academic journals and in non-technical practitioner publications. I also write for media outlets (e.g. the FT) and our research is regularly featured in the global media. A major focus right now is the release of a book titled “Credible” which covers all the expert leadership research and is targeted towards a general business audience.

I have given over 100 talks and keynote lectures in many different counties. I work with a number of scholars although my main co-author is Agnes Bäker at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

I publish in academic journals and in non-technical practitioner publications

I also write for media outlets (e.g. the FT) and our research is regularly featured in the global media. A major focus right now is the release of a book titled “Credible” which covers all the expert leadership research and is targeted towards a general business audience.

I have given over 100 talks and keynote lectures in many different counties. I work with a number of scholars although my main co-author is Agnes Bäker at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

General Articles

Includes pieces I have written for the media (e.g. the FT) or practitioner outlets (e.g. HBR digital)

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Journal Articles

Includes all the articles I have written for academic journals in management or health care

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Media

Includes global media coverage in print and broadcast, and also podcasts

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To explain the effects of leaders on productivity, I use, where possible, so-called longitudinal data.  That is data that runs over many years. The reason is that we are trying to discover what causes what

Amanda Goodall
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