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Eastern Academy of Management 2019

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Who are Boundary Spanning Leaders?

The extant management literature suggests that boundary spanning leadership, on both an internal and external level, is central to organizational growth and success. To date, however, boundary spanning leadership has received limited attention; a problem that is compounded by the absence of an adequate measurement scale. Drawing upon boundary spanning and social embeddedness theories, I develop a formalized conceptualization and operationalization of the boundary spanning leadership construct. In addition, I suggest a framework to measure the proposed construct using a survey study. I find that boundary spanning leaders encompass four overarching characteristics: growth, understanding, sustainability, and personal investment. How these characteristics align with the conceptualization of boundary spanning leadership is also discussed.

Holly Butler
University of Massachusetts Lowell
United States


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