Character-based leadership and leadership development in low- and middle-income countries - research report

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The Character and Global Leadership Survey 2023 is the first significant survey focusing on character-based leadership research and education in 137 low- and middle-income countries.

Global challenges, including climate change, poverty, war, and inequality, highlight the need for courageous, purpose-driven leadership across sectors in society and around the world - understood as ‘character-based leadership’. Such leadership must be effective and ethical, joining the knowledge and skills that enable communication, collaboration and decision-making to fundamental qualities of character such as integrity, purpose, and hope.

The global challenges are transnational, but their impact is felt most deeply in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Local leadership is essential to engage these challenges and advance positive change, yet academic work in leadership studies and investment in leadership education has often been led by organisations in high-income nations. The recently released report identified 1,071 academic papers published between 1990 and 2022 as well as 99 programmes focusing on developing leaders with character and virtue in LMICs. The report presents findings from reviewing these publications and programmes, as well as insights from interviewing researchers and practitioners around the world.

The Character and Global Leadership Survey 2023 was made possible through the generous support of the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Download the report