Navigation Links
Born to lead? Leadership can be an inherited trait, study finds
Date:1/15/2013

Genetic differences are significantly associated with the likelihood that people take on managerial responsibilities, according to new research from UCL (University College London).

The study, published online in Leadership Quarterly, is the first to identify a specific DNA sequence associated with the tendency for individuals to occupy a leadership position. Using a large twin sample, the international research team, which included academics from Harvard, NYU, and the University of California, estimate that a quarter of the observed variation in leadership behaviour between individuals can be explained by genes passed down from their parents.

"We have identified a genotype, called rs4950, which appears to be associated with the passing of leadership ability down through generations," said lead author Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (UCL School of Public Policy). "The conventional wisdom that leadership is a skill remains largely true, but we show it is also, in part, a genetic trait."

To find the genotype, Dr De Neve and his colleagues analysed data from two large-scale samples in the United States, available through the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and the Framingham Heart Study.

They compared genetic samples of approximately 4,000 individuals with information about jobs and relationships, finding that in both surveys there was a significant association between rs4950 and leadership. Leadership behaviour was measured by determining whether or not individuals occupy supervisory roles in the workplace.

The team found that although acquiring a leadership position mostly depends on developing skills, inheriting the leadership trait can also play an important role.

Dr De Neve said: "As recent as last August, Professor John Antonakis, who is known for his work on leadership, posed the question: 'is there a specific leadership gene?'

"This study allows us to answer yes to an extent. Although leadership should still be thought of predominantly as a skill to be developed, genetics - in particular the rs4950 genotype - can also play a significant role in predicting who is more likely to occupy leadership roles."

He added that more research was needed to understand the ways in which rs4950 interacted with other factors, such as a child's learning environment, in the emergence of leadership.

Dr De Neve noted: "Our work also draws attention to the ethical issues surrounding the use of genetic tests for leadership selection and assessment, and that we should seriously consider expanding current protections against genetic discrimination in the labour market. Our main suggestion for practice is that this research may help in the identification of specific environmental factors that can help in the development of leadership skills.

"If we really want to understand leadership and its effect on organizational, institutional, economic and political outcomes, we must study both nature and nurture," added Dr De Neve.


'/>"/>
Contact: George Wigmore
g.wigmore@ucl.ac.uk
44-020-767-99041
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 23andMe Names Christine Castro, Neil Rothstein and Jonathan Ward to Leadership Positions
2. MARC travel awards announced for Leadership Development and Grant Writing Seminar
3. Scientists warn Brazils environmental leadership at risk
4. NSF Leadership in Discovery and Innovation sparks White House US Ignite Initiative
5. Chiltern Wins CRO Leadership Award From Life Science Leader
6. Researchers discover 2 genetic flaws behind common form of inherited muscular dystrophy
7. The Johns Hopkins Center for Inherited Disease Research receives $101 million
8. UMMS researchers isolate gene mutations in patients with inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
9. New compound holds promise for treating Duchenne MD, other inherited diseases
10. UF receives $1 million from Keck Foundation to study mechanisms of inherited disease
11. CU-led study shows pine beetle outbreak buffers watersheds from nitrate pollution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2017)... -- A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm announces ... Designed to fill a critical niche in technical and ... Mark Crego and Janice Kephart ... expertise that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, private ... expertise has a common theme born from a shared ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... Massachusetts , February 1, 2017 IDTechEx ... events on emerging technology, announces the availability of a new report, ... Continue Reading ... ... in industrial and collaborative robots. Source: IDTechEx Report "Sensors for Robotics: ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... , Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market ... for Biometrics and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 ... identity when increased adoption reflects a new understanding ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often ... Maxine Most , Principal of Acuity Market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... 2017  BioGenex, a global leader in molecular ... novel system for quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC). The system ... Rochester (NY, USA) and Konica-Minolta Inc. ( ... able to accurately quantify the expression of an ... factor receptor-2) in clinical samples. Quantitative IHC is ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , Feb. 17, 2017  Protagonist Therapeutics, ... data on its oral peptide drug candidates, PTG-100 ... of the European Crohn,s and Colitis Organization (ECCO).  ... Barcelona, Spain from February 15 ... detail preclinical data on Protagonist drug candidates PTG-100 ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  ImMAGE Biotherapeutics (OTCMKTS: IMMG), an early-stage biotechnology company harnessing ... treatment for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), announced today their ... program. The YEi Start in ... entrepreneurs grow their business in France ... selected to complete an intensive one week immersion in ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., a ... therapies to treat severe neurological disorders, today reported ... with AGT-181, the company,s investigational therapy for the ... as mucopolysaccharidosis type I, or MPS I). The ... (POC) study, presented today at the 13 th ...
Breaking Biology Technology: