Wisdom principles as a meta-theoretical basis for evaluating leadership

Bernard McKenna, David Rooney, Kimberley B. Boal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


This article responds to calls in the management and leadership literature to articulate a role for wisdom. While many talk about the role of wisdom, few people have attempted to articulate what it consists of. We suggest five principles that define wise leadership. We then position wisdom in a complex world, both within the transformational, authentic and spiritual leadership literature and the knowledge based view of organizations, and suggest how leaders should be evaluated. Finally, we suggest the need for future research directions and practical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages14
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Complexity
  • Ethics
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Practical wisdom


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