Texas Tech University

Gardner Honored by Network of Leadership Scholars

April Chavez

August 9, 2022

Bill Gardner

Chosen by a committee of respected scholars, Gardner was recognized for his research, service, and overall contributions to the management discipline.

William “Bill” Gardner, Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor, Jerry S. Rawls Chair in Leadership and director of the Institute for Leadership Research in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, received the prestigious Network of Leadership Scholars (NLS) Eminent Leadership Scholar Award.

Gardner was presented with the award on August 7 during the 2022 Academy of Management annual conference in Seattle, Washington.

Made each year by NLS, Elsevier and the University of Mississippi, the award honors a senior scholar whose work best reflects the mission of NLS to advance interdisciplinary dialogue and discussion regarding the study and practice of leadership.

“Dr. Gardner earned his doctorate in 1984 and has been continuously publishing research in the field of leadership for over 37 years,” wrote Ronald Humphrey, distinguished professor in leadership at Lancaster University, who nominated Garder for the prestigious award.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, said Gardner. Several years ago, through self-reflection, I identified my professional purpose as an academic: ‘To make leadership theory real,' said Gardner. 

“That is, my goal is to add to the body of knowledge about leadership by creating theory that resonates with students in the classroom and practitioners in the workplace. And, because the word ‘real' is synonymous with ‘authentic,' this phrase also reflects the primary focus of my research on authentic leadership – leadership that helps persons in leadership positions to stay true to their core values and play to their strengths. This honor is especially gratifying because it suggests others have found my work to be consistent with that purpose.”     

Gardner's research has been published in many of the top journals in the field, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review,Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior and Group & Organization Management.

“Bill's early career focus on attributional and identity processes within leadership laid the foundations for his subsequent theoretical and empirical contributions to the study of authentic leadership, for which he is best known,” added Humphrey.

Since joining Texas Tech University in 2005, Gardner has won several awards for his exceptional research contributions, including the Texas Tech President's Academic Achievement Award in 2016, the Texas Tech Integrated Scholar Award in 2015, the Rawls College Distinguished Faculty Research Award in 2014 and the Rawls College Outstanding Research Award in 2013. In 2020, he was named a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor, the highest honor a faculty member can receive from the university.

Gardner is the second Rawls College faculty member to receive the NLS Eminent Leadership Scholar Award. The late Professor James G. (Jerry) Hunt, who was also a Horn Professor, was a recipient of this recognition in 2008. 

“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Jerry Hunt in representing Rawls College as a recipient of this award,” said Gardner.

About NLS

The Network of Leadership Scholars provides a forum for people from varying backgrounds, disciplines, nationalities, and perspectives to interact and generate knowledge related to the field(s) of leadership.

Our mission is to foster interconnectivity and create linkages that allow us to develop meaningful new frameworks for investigating and practicing leadership. Our aspirations are to:

The Network of Leadership Scholars helps our scholarly community better meet the needs of its constituents of scholars and practitioners. Leadership represents a powerful social concern relative to business and nonprofit organizations, as well as to political, environmental, social, health, and economic issues. As a community of scholars, we can bring visibility to key issues of the day, including recent world events on business and political fronts (e.g., ethical leadership, sustainability, corporate governance, public policy, the military, education, etc.).