January 2, 2020

Eminent Leadership Scholar Award

2022 Award Recipient

William L. Gardner III
Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor
Texas Tech University

William (Bill) Gardner is the Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor, Jerry S. Rawls Chair in Leadership, and Director of the Institute for Leadership Research in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. He received his doctorate and MBA degrees from Florida State University. He has contributed to leadership theory and practice through his research into managerial work, leader and member attributions, charismatic leadership, and most extensively, authentic leadership. His publications appear in leading journals including the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, and Journal of Organizational Behavior. In 2011, Gardner received the Distinguished Doctoral Alumni Award from the College of Business at Florida State University. Rawls College of Business recognized him in 2013 with the Outstanding Researcher Award and in 2014 with the Distinguished Faculty Research Award. In 2015, Texas Tech recognized him as an “Integrated Scholar” for synergistic contributions to its teaching, research, and service missions. In 2017 the Southern Management Association honored him with the “James G. (Jerry) Hunt Sustained Outstanding Service Award.” In 2017 and 2019 he was named to Clarivate Analytics’ Highly Cited Researchers List. In 2020, he was named a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor, Texas Tech’s highest academic honor.  In 2021 he was included in Stanford University’s ranking of the top 2% of Global Researchers. He is a past editor of Group & Organization Management and has served as an Associate Editor for The Leadership Quarterly for nine years.


We invite nominations for the 2023 Network of Leadership Scholars (NLS) Eminent Leadership Scholar Award. Nominations are due March 15, 2023.

Each year NLS honors a scholar with the Eminent Leadership Scholar Award. This award recognizes a senior scholar whose work best reflects the mission of NLS to advance interdisciplinary dialogue and discussion regarding the study and practice of leadership.


  • The nominee must have completed his or her PhD (or finished his or her training/education) at least 20 years ago.
  • The nominee should have an outstanding body of work that has made a substantial and original contribution to the field of leadership studies  
  • The nominee should have contributed to the discipline in ways that complement his or her scholarship (e.g., editorial board service, service as an elected representative for the Academy or other professional organizations, mentoring of outstanding students in the field).
  • Eminent Leadership Scholar Award committee members and previous winners of this award are not eligible.

Application Process

  • Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • A 1 page single spaced letter describing the nominee’s career evolution providing a strong case for his/her contribution to the leadership field. This can include some of the following points:
    • Number of years since receiving the PhD (must be at least 20 years).
    • Important and novel research questions in the area of leadership addressed.
    • Integrated leadership-related career progression.
    • Leadership-related publications in top-tier journals.
    • Overall citations and other indices of research productivity.
    • Publications with students.
    • Service to the field
      (e.g., editorial board memberships, conference leadership positions).
    • Teaching accomplishments in the area of leadership.
    • Work addressing the research-practice gap.
  • The nominee’s curriculum vita.
  • Materials must be emailed to: Brett Neely – networkleadershipscholars@gmail.com

Committee Membership

The NLS board, in conjunction with the Chair, invites committee members with the intent of ensuring a representative committee (in terms of seniority, interdisciplinarity, multiple nationalities, and sex). The role of the Chair is to guide the Committee through its decision and work with the incoming NLS Awards Coordinator (Brett Neely, networkleadershipscholars@gmail.com) in organizing the process.

Deadlines and Timeline

  • Materials due March 15th, 2023.
  • Award winner will be notified by June 1st, 2023
  • Award will be conferred at the 2023 Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Previous Award Winners

2006Bernard M. Bass & Edwin A. Fleishman
2007Robert J. House
2008James G. (Jerry) Hunt
2009Robert G. Lord
2010Francis J. Yammarino
2011Gary Yukl
2012Boas Shamir
2013Bruce J. Avolio
2014Alice H. Eagly
2015Robert C. Liden
2016Michael D. Mumford
2017Edwin P. Hollander
2018Joanne B. Ciulla
2019Linda K. Treviño
2020David A. Waldman
2021Leanne Atwater

This award is selected by an award committee (prior members listed below), which is independent of the NLS leadership team. Committee members are selected by the committee chair with support by the NLS liaison group. Committee members are selected with the intent of ensuring a representative committee in terms of seniority, interdisciplinarity, nationality, and sex. The award committee includes five scholars who serve for two-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. As members rotate off, the committee will comprise at least two existing members (one of whom is the chair) and at least two new members (one of whom is the incoming chair). The role of the chair is to guide the committee through its decision and work with the NLS liaison in organizing the process. The committee independently reviews the nominations and votes the candidates in rank order. The committee then discusses the top ranked candidate(s) and arrives at a decision.

We thank the following scholars who have graciously served on NLS Eminent Leadership Scholar Award committees.

  • John Antonakis
  • Michelle C. Bligh
  • Donna Chrobot-Mason
  • Joanne B. Ciulla
  • Barbara C. Crosby
  • David De Cremer
  • Olga Epitropaki
  • Berrin Erdogan
  • Dawn Eubanks
  • Jörg Felfe
  • Deanne N. den Hartog
  • Ronit Kark
  • Daan van Knippenberg
  • Robert G. Lord
  • Natalia M. Lorinkova
  • Kevin B. Lowe
  • Margaritta Mayo
  • Craig Pearce
  • Claudia Peus
  • Ronald F. Piccolo
  • Raj Pillai
  • Ronald E. Riggio
  • James Sarros
  • Birgit Schyns
  • Sim B. Sitkin
  • Barbara Wisse
  • Francis J. Yammarino
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