Leadership in the global context: Bibliometric and thematic patterns of an evolving field

Publication Date

November 2018

Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Advances in Global Leadership


Joyce S. Osland, Mark E. Mendenhall, Ming Li





First Page


Last Page



In this contribution, we systematically review the extant global leadership literature to identify important bibliometric and thematic patterns in evidence in this evolving field of scholarship. Conceptualizing the phenomenon to include leaders/managers/supervisors who hold global, expatriate, or international positions, we draw out insights accumulated from a total of 327 published articles in key management and organizational behavior journals listed in Scopus. Our analysis proceeds in two sequential phases. Our bibliometric analysis first identifies the most cited articles, most published first authors, country bases of first authors, and frequently publishing journals in this field. This characterizes both the diversity and innovative nature of scholarship in the field. Our thematic content analysis, generated through Nvivo 11, isolates two dominant overarching themes that represent the wellspring for the body of literature, namely global leader development and global leader effectiveness. These themes of development and effectiveness are further explicated through six distinct lenses namely cultural, cognitive, learning, personality trait, social/relational, and political. These lenses are underpinned by a suite of theoretical perspectives encompassing individual, system, and contextual considerations. In combination, these sets of analyses bring added systematics to the field and serve as a point of departure for future inquiry. © 2019 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.


Bibliometric, Content analysis cultural, Global leadership, Nvivo 11, Qualitative, Systematic review

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