A Systematic and Critical Review of Research on Respect in Leadership


Respect is an important psychological and interpersonal phenomenon that has been included in various theoretical and empirical approaches to leadership for nearly 70 years. In this systematic and critical review article, we provide a comprehensive summary and critique of theories, definitions, measures, and empirical studies of respect in leadership. We first provide an overview of the historical and theoretical background, including the most common theories, definitions, and measures that inform empirical studies of respect in leadership. Second, we present a systematic literature review of empirical studies on respect in leadership, including a critical evaluation of research designs and statistical analyses that support claims of the validity of various conceptualizations of respect that pertain to the study of leadership. Finally, we offer a new working definition of respect in leadership, and an accompanying conceptual framework which informs a number of recommendations for future theory development, empirical research, and leadership practice.

Leadership Quarterly
Cort W. Rudolph
Associate Professor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology