Avolio ranked #2 most influential researcher in leadership, #3 in organizational behavior

Bruce Avolio

Two new studies establish Bruce Avolio, a professor of management at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, as one of the world’s foremost leaders in the study of leadership and organizational behavior.

A paper in the August 2019 issue of The Leadership Quarterly ranks Avolio the #1 scholar in the world at connecting authors in the field of leadership research, and #2 in productivity and influence of his leadership studies.

A separate article, published earlier this year in the journal Academy of Management Learning and Education, lists Avolio the #3 most influential author—of all time—in the field of organizational behavior.

Avolio is the Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership and founding executive director of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking at the Foster School.

Output and impact

The Leadership Quarterly study—“A Computerized Approach to Understanding Leadership Research”—considered the full range of leadership topics published in academic journals over the past three decades.

The authors audited 2,115 leadership articles by 3,190 researchers published in 10 leading academic journals since 1990. Productivity was measured by the number of published papers by each researcher over this period; influence by the number of paper citations in other publications.

In terms of both output and impact of leadership research, Avolio emerged at #2 in the world over the past three decades.

The study also mapped networks of connectivity between scholars in various areas of leadership research. Avolio appeared at the center of everything, the most active hub of activity in the field. He rated #1 in “betweenness centrality,” the authors’ term for connecting otherwise unrelated authors. And he ranked #2 in “degree centrality,” or the total number of co-author collaborations.

Outstanding in OB (and other fields)

The article establishing Avolio as the #3 most influential scholar in organizational behavior arrived at this conclusion by measuring the number of citations in leading OB textbooks of more than 16,000 researchers who were cited at least once. Avolio also was ranked the #30 most-cited author in general management textbooks.

Previously, a 2017 a study in the journal Industrial and Organizational Psychology named Avolio the #22 most-cited researcher of the past 100 years in the field of industrial and organizational psychology (out of more than 8,000 cited scholars).

And in 2016, Thompson Reuters recognized him among the 3,000 most influential researchers in the world across all of the sciences.

Prolific and profound

Avolio, the author of more than 150 published articles and 12 books, is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on transformational and authentic leadership.

He has worked directly with a variety of global businesses and organizations—in healthcare, financial services, entrepreneurship and the military, among others—to help them develop authentic leadership and achieve their missions.

Avolio’s long list of academic honors includes the 2013 Eminent Leadership Scholar Award from the Network of Leadership Scholars in the Academy of Management, and fellowships in the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, among others.

In 2008, Avolio was named among the world’s 150 most influential management scholars in the Journal of Management (along with fellow Foster faculty Terence Mitchell, professor emeritus of management, and Charles Hill, the Hughes M. and Katherine G. Blake Endowed Professor in Business Administration).