"You cannot look inside a person's head, only at it" - who is not familiar with this statement? This may be true for everyday life at first, but nowadays there are different imaging methods that make exactly this possible and thus give us insights into processes and structures of the brain. If we relate this to the leadership context, we speak of the so-called "neuroleadership" approach, which is a combination of neurophysiological parameters and the previously well-established leadership constructs (e.g. transformational leadership). Within this framework, it is possible to investigate, for example, which brain processes underlie the different leadership behaviors. A suitable methodology for this is electroencephalography, which measures these brain processes in the form of voltage differences in different frequency ranges on the surface of the head. From these raw values, specific calculations can be used to draw conclusions about the activity of brain areas as well as the connectivity between different areas of the brain (coherence) (Gazzaley & D'Esposito, 2006; Thatcher et al., 2008). For example, the chair investigates connections between coherence and leadership behaviors. It has been shown that the theoretical differentiation of transformational leadership (group-related vs. individual-related behaviors) is reflected in the connectivity of brain areas (Pachocki & Rowold, 2019). This innovative approach enriches traditional leadership theories and models and contributes to an improved understanding of leadership.
Gazzaley, A. L., & D'Esposito, M. (2006). Neural networks: An empirical neuroscience approach toward understanding cognition. Cortex, 42(7), 1037–1040.
Pachocki, K. & Rowold, J. (August 2019). Neurological insight into transformational leadership: A mediational framework. Vortrag 79th Academy of Management 2019 Annual Meeting (AoM), Boston, Massachussetts, USA.
Thatcher, R. W., North, D. M., & Biver, C. J. (2008). Development of cortical connections as measured by EEG coherence and phase delays. Human Brain Mapping, 29(12), 1400–1415.