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:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Paris Police ... video security solution to ensure the safety of people and ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international technology ... services, announced today that its video security solution will be ... back up public safety across the country. The system roll-out ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016 The Department of ... awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned ... Decatur was selected for the most ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" ... by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP ... States based venture capital funds which together ... (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they ... their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the ... today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both ... physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic ... sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by ... tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has already ... therapeutics in multiple cancer types. Over ... DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: