Leadership in the 1960’s

by R. Ready



This article explores some of the more critical of these involvements for leadership in North American industry in the 1960s as they appear through the perspective of current social science research and thought. Leadership is an elusive experience and, even worse, a culture-bound one. The elusiveness of leadership is evident in dialogues concerning its locus. On can say that leadership is culture-bound because one can rarely discuss it without reference to some current social conception of authority. What people think about leaders and leadership is closely modeled from existing social norms of parent-child relations and of adult peer ideals of egalitarianism versus autocracy. The study of leadership as a social rather than an individual experience did not develop solely as a result of negative findings from the trait approaches. For some time, the social sciences offered choices for practitioners that were not easy to take on the subject of leadership, choices like being directive or nondirective, production-centered or person-centered, formal or informal, concerned with output or morale. Those are still choices, and they are not just choices of boo-cow or moo-cow. What has been hard about the choices has been certainty of the context and direction for leadership.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us