Headshot of Dr. George  R. Goethals

Dr. George R. Goethals

Professor Emeritus
Curriculum Vitae

  • Profile

    Social psychologist George R. (Al) Goethals joined the Jepson School faculty in 2006 as the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies and retired in May 2023 as professor emeritus. Prior to his Jepson School tenure, he served from 1970-2005 in faculty and administrative roles at Williams College, where he founded the leadership studies program in 1997.  

    Starting in 1970, Goethals began a collaborative relationship with Dr. James MacGregor Burns, whose book "Leadership" became a seminal text in leadership studies. Burns provided encouragement for Goethals to initiate the Leadership Studies Program at Williams College, where Goethals held academic and administrative appointments from 1970-2005. He also introduced Goethals to the Jepson School, which Burns helped shape during its formative years.

    In addition to his collegiate appointments, Goethals served as an editor or on the editorial board of several academic journals. His recent research focuses on heroism and presidential leadership. During his Jepson School tenure, he taught courses on theories of leadership, presidential leadership, and Civil War leadership. He published numerous textbooks, scholarly books, chapters, and refereed articles in scholarly journals. 

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    • Awards

      Jepson School Award for Leadership and Service, 2023

      International Leadership Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022

      Distinguished Scholarship Award, University of Richmond, 2020

      Society of Experimental Social Psychology Fellow, 2009

      Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2008

      Association for Psychological Science Fellow, 2007

      American Psychological Association Fellow, 1990

  • Selected Publications

    Goethals, George R., Scott T. Allison, and Georgia J. Sorenson, eds. (2023). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Leadership Studies. SAGE Publications. 

    Allison, Scott T., and George R. Goethals. (2020). The Heroic Leadership Imperative: How Leaders Inspire and Mobilize Change. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

    Bezio, Kristin M. S., and George R. Goethals, eds. (2020). Leadership, Populism, and Resistance. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. 

    Goethals, G.R. & Allison, S.T. (2019). The Romance of Heroes and Heroic Leadership. Bingley: UK. Emerald.

    Goethals, G. R. (2018).  Realignment, Region, and Race:  Presidential Leadership and Social Identity.  Bingley, UK:  Emerald. 

    Goethals, G. R. & Bradburn, D. (Eds.) (2016). Politics, Ethics and Change: The Legacy of James MacGregor Burns. London: Edward Elgar.  

    Allison, S. T., Kocher, C. T. & Goethals, G. R. (Eds.) (2016). Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership: Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Goethals, G. R. (2015). Presidential leadership and African Americans: An American dilemma from slavery to the White House. New York: Routledge.

    Goethals, G. R., Allison, S. T., Kramer, R. M., & Messick, D. M. (Eds.) (2014). Conceptions of leadership: Enduring ideas and emerging insights. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2013). Heroic leadership: A taxonomy of 100 exceptional individuals. New York: Routledge.

    Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2011). Heroes: What they do and why we need them. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Goethals, G. R., Sorenson, G. J., & Burns, J. M. (Eds.). (2004). Encyclopedia of leadership, vols. 1-4. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Journal Articles

    Goethals, G. R. (2022). Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Interpersonal Dynamics of Leadership  Army History, (summer 2022), 24-32. https://history.army.mil/armyhistory/AH-Magazine/2022AH_Summer/AH124(w).pdf. 

    Goethals, G. R. (2022). History's Old Dominion. New American History (March 14, 2022). https://medium.com/new-american-history/historys-old-dominion-75a676ded74b.

    Goethals, G. R. (2021). The 2020 election and its aftermath: Love, lies, and ensorceling leadership. Leadership, 17(2), 240-250.

    Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2016). Hero worship: The elevation of the human spirit. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour46, 187-210.

    Goethals, G.R. (2005). Theories of presidential leadership. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 545-570.

    Book Chapters

    Goethals, G. R. (2021). Bad Followers Create Bad Leaders. In A. Ortenblad (ed.). Debating Bad Leadership: Reasons and Remedies. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 199-215.

    Goethals, G. R., & Allison, S. T. (2012). Making Heroes: The Construction of Courage, Competence, and Virtue. In J. M. Olson & M. P. Zanna (eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 46. San Diego: Elsevier/Academic Press, pp. 183-235.

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