Evolutionary leadership theory



This article reviews an important new monograph on evolutionary leadership theory by Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja (Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership. New York: HarperBusiness, 2011, 272 pp. ISBN 978-0-06196-383-4, $25.99, Hardcover). I summarize the main arguments of this work, which draws on evolutionary psychology and Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection to explain why and under what circumstances leadership and followership traits emerged in human societies. In so doing, I assess the extent to which it succeeds, as intended, in providing a scientifically rigorous framework for our understanding of leadership in the 21st century.