There is a widespread use of leadership development (LD) for students in higher education; however, less is known about the effectiveness of such practices. We provide a summative and meta-analytic review to identify the state of LD programs for students in higher education (i.e., undergraduate and graduate students). The overall objective is to demonstrate whether LD programs are implementing the most effective strategies with any discrepancy revealing a gap between management science and higher education practice. Our results suggest that LD programs within higher education work, but evaluation studies need to more effectively address endogeneity concerns. As a way moving forward, we provide recommendations for conducting a LD program evaluation study and for conducting a meta-analysis on evaluation studies. This meta-analysis can be used as a starting point for the discussion on these issues. We hope that our findings can guide the future development of LD programs.
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