The Art of Creating Leaders: Popular Culture Artifacts as Pathways for Development

Jamie L. Callahan, J. Kori Whitener, Jennifer A. Sandlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The problem and the solution. Leadership development is arguably one of the most important activities undertaken by human resource development (HRD) professionals.The process of leadership development has implications for each of the three primary categories of action that characterize the field of HRD: career development ; training and development; and organization development. Thus, exploring alternative and innovative approaches to understanding leadership should take a prominent role in the practice of HRD. Although not a new concept, popular culture is one such innovative approach to teaching leadership. Although there has been increasing interest in techniques of leadership development in HRD, the field of HRD has not fully explored how popular culture artifacts—such as film, television, and fiction/nonfiction books—can be used in leadership development. This article explores the literature regarding popular culture as it relates to shaping audience perceptions, the role of popular culture as a teaching tool, and key characteristics for choosing effective popular culture artifacts for leadership development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-165
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007
Externally publishedYes


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