The theory and research reported in the Special Issue are examined with the goal of providing integrative perspectives on various approaches used to understand the leader development process across the lifespan. Historical and contemporary perspectives on longitudinal research are explored with a distinction made between true longitudinal research (includes three ormorewaves of data tracks an outcome over time adopts a sensible time metric)with quasi-longitudinal research that includes only two waves of data or does not track change. Research studies in the Special Issue were grouped into either Fullerton Longitudinal Study or developmental trajectory approaches. The relative merits of each class of studies were examined and it was concluded that they provide complementary perspectives on leader development. The article concludes with a look to future research directions as well as a review of how the Special Issue studies have advanced an emerging science of leader development.
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