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Bruce Avolio


Bruce has published 12 books and over 150 articles on leadership and related areas.

In 2017, Bruce was recognized as being among the top 70 most highly cited researchers in the United States in Economics and Business, and among the top 3,000 across all sciences around the globe (Thompson Reuters). He was also listed this past year at the #18th spot on the all-time most highly cited industrial and organizational psychology researchers over the last 100 years. Finally, a recent Stanford University study published in the journal PLOS Biology, the authors reported on a sweeping analysis of citation data from 1996 to 2019 on the research of 6,880,389 scientists, who have published at least five papers in any of 22 major disciplines, ranging from biology to engineering to economics to management. The author’s database listed the top 2% of scholars—more than 100,000 names in total. Based on this study, Dr. Avolio was in the top 0.06% of the most-cited scientific researchers overall, and #25 among the 36,319 researchers in the category of business & management.

Bruce has consulted with hundreds of organizations around the globe in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, in the design and delivery of transformative leadership development systems. His current work focuses on how to design and implement gamulations (part game and simulation) to foster and accelerate leadership development and organizational transformation.

Media Mentions

Listed below are the media mentions of the center and its director, Bruce J. Avolio. For articles and blog posts written by Bruce, visit the Foster blog or his Google Scholar page.

June, 2021: Dr. Bruce Avolio – The Holy Grail of Leadership Development (Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders on Apple Podcasts)

February, 2020: Gedankenlesen #6 with Bruce Avolio – What is good leadership? (Gedankenlesen – Der Psychologie-Podcast on Spotify)

September, 2016: Game Changer (Seattle Business Magazine)

September 25, 2013: Dr. Bruce J. Avolio appointed as University of Washington Chair in Business Strategic Leadership (Foster News)

March 5, 2013: The State of Leadership Studies: Leadership Ethics (University of Richmond)

Feb 22, 2013: Showing up for leadership… Ta Dah!: Bruce Avolio at TEDxUmea (TEDxTalks)

September 17, 2012: 5 Tips for Employers to Earn Respect (Forbes Magazine)


Organizational Transformation: How To Achieve It, One Person At A Time
It is estimated that approximately seventy percent of organizations fail in their attempts to implement transformative change. This book will help lessen that rate. Using real-world examples, Bruce J. Avolio maps four states of change that any organization must go through: identifying and recognizing, initiating,
emerging and impending, and institutionalizing new ways of operating. Each state is described in detail, as are the leadership qualities necessary to solidify and transition from one to the next. These “in-between moments” are an often-overlooked key to organizational transformation. So too is the fact that
organizational change happens one individual at a time. For transformation to take root, each person must shift his or her sense of self at work and the role that he or she plays in the transforming organization.
Intended as a road map, rather than a “how-to” manual with fixed procedures, Organizational Transformation will help leaders to locate their organization’s position on a continuum of progress and confidently navigate planned, whole-systems change, overcoming the challenges of growing from and adjusting to watershed moments.




Psychological Capital BeyondPsychological Capital and Beyond
Psychological Capital and Beyond 
published in 2015 is an updated version of Psychological capital: Developing the human competitive edge published in 2007. Since Luthans, Youssef-Morgan and Avolio introduced Psychological Capital (PsyCap) in their first book, it has received widespread attention and popularity in positive organizational behavior.  The research and application of PsyCap has made a global impact, and the authors provide convincing evidence that PsyCap can be validly measured in a variety of settings and conditions. They also provide evidence that PsyCap predicts desired outcomes like organizational performance, teamwork, and leadership better as a holistic construct rather than its individual components.

The High Impact Leader The High Impact Leader
Takes you beyond static and inflexible leadership “rules” to help develop hands-on leadership skills within the unpredictable, often chaotic framework of everyday life. This results-based examination features wide-ranging research and examples of how real-world leadership has developed over the past century. It details a program for accelerating your authentic leadership development that is realistic and achievable, for individuals in virtually any personal or professional environment.




Leadership Development in BalanceLeadership Development in Balance: Made/Born
Are leaders born or made? Bruce J. Avolio, a leading expert in this field, states if you believe leaders are just born you will probably not develop to your full leadership capacity. The goal of this book is to provide the reader with a broader and deeper understanding of what constitutes “authentic leadership development” and how that can be applied to each reader’s development as a leader.




Full Range Leadershp Development Full Range Leadership Development
Over the last decade, the full range model has become the most researched model in the leadership literature- and the most validated- and has proved to be an accurate guide for developing exemplary leadership in diverse cultures, organizations, and leadership positions. The new edition shows how the process of leadership development is linked to validation and how the process of validation informs accelerated leadership development.




The No PeopleNo People
Who hasn’t scurried along the cliffs of uncertainty, not always as sure footed as one would like to be? There are many who can’t imagine a life away from the cliff’s edge, where great advances are sown and catastrophic failures constantly loom. In every area of our lives, cliffs unexpectedly present themselves, which may trigger a completely new course correction. Hanging back from the cliffs is certainly an option, one chosen by those who embrace a distant and safer view. Others revel in seeking out those cliffs because it is at the cliff’s edge where the most interesting trails and exploration reside.
Those who are the cliff dwellers must consider the advantage of bringing on your journey a trusted member of the No People (NPs). They are not the average Sherpa willing to carry your load in quiet compliance. They are the people who know when you need to hear “no”—especially when you are most likely to ignore their advice. I have written this book to underscore the critical role that the No People play in organizations and communities around the world. They are often a fragile group of diminishing numbers and safe sanctuaries (in places where leaders carelessly walk along the cliffs, ignorant of constituent and stakeholder interests and points of view, they have become nearly extinct). These are some NP tribal stories; tales of how this tribe continues to positively shape our world.

Full Leadership Development Full Leadership Development: Building the Vital Forces in Organizations
People interested in developing their own leadership potential, or the leadership potential of those around them, will find a wealth of knowledge in Full Leadership Development. The author, Bruce J. Avolio, approaches the concept of leadership as a system, not only as a process or a person. His framework is based on what he defines as the full range of leadership: people, timing, resources, the context of interaction, and the expected results in performance and motivation. He contends that when a leadership system is optimized, it in turn optimizes the vital force of each individual, thereby enhancing the collective force of the entire organization. The relationships between the individuals in this system, and the mutual development within each relationship, make up the essence of leadership. The quality of the relationships between the leadership, their peers, and followers is a source of enrichment for all involved.


Psychological CapitalPsychological Capital: Developing the Human Competitive Edge
Although there are as many answers to the question of how organizations can gain competitive advantage in today’s global economy as there are books and experts, one lesson seems very clear: traditional answers and resources are no longer sufficient. This seminal book offers not only an answer regarding how to gain competitive advantage through people, but also a brand new, untapped human resource – psychological capital, of simply PsyCap. Generated from both the positive psychology movement and the authors’ pioneering work on positive organizational behavior, PsyCap goes beyond traditionally recognized human and social capital. But PsyCap is not a vague or unscientific concept. : to be included in PsyCap, a given positive construct must be based on theory, research, and valid measurement; must be open to development; and must have measurable performance impact. The positive constructs that have been determined to best meet these PsyCap criteria, efficacy (confidence), hope, optimism, and resiliency, are covered in separate chapters in Psychological Capital. After exploring other potential positive constructs such as creativity, wisdom, well-being, flow, humor, gratitude, forgiveness, emotional intelligence, spirituality, authenticity, and courage, the authors summarize the research demonstrating the performance impact of PsyCap. They go on to provide the PsyCap Questionnaire (PCQ) as a measurement tool, and the PsyCap Intervention (PCI) as a development aid. Utility analysis indicates that investing in the development of PsyCap as presented in this book can result in a very substantial return. In total, Psychological Capital provides theory, research, measurements, and methods of application for the new resource of psychological capital, a resource that can be developed and sustained for competitive advantage.