So you’ve been reviewing articles in your chosen topic, and you’re ready to take the next step towards a study. But how do you put together all that information? Simply, you’ll write a “State of the Literature” summarizing what you’ve found, what you didn’t find, and linking that all to your research questions.
If you haven’t developed any research questions yet, now’s the time. You should have a good idea what the gaps are in the literature at this point, and maybe even have some ideas how those gaps could be filled! You might even have a research question (or two) to add to the ones you had when you started reviewing articles.
Below is a great example from Jess Muraco of how to put this together with the research questions in mind.
You’ll notice that she summarizes each article under the appropriate research questions – this reminds you why that article is useful and relevant. She also uses keywords to simplify a large amount of information (ex: military leadership academy mission statements), and points out gaps that she noticed during her review. Finally, she proposes new research questions and possible next steps to take in the research process.
State of The Literature
Topic: Leadership Development in Military Academies
1. What are the characteristics of military leadership centers?
2. What are the goals of military leadership centers?
I have organized a document containing the mission statements for multiple military academies.
Keywords: excellence, leadership, develop leaders, adaptive leadership, ethic, creative, critical, motivated, character development
MCLD→ This framework is the six Functional Areas of Leadership Development: Fidelity, Fighter, Fitness, Family, Finance, and Future.
3. How are these centers evaluated?
By doing the ‘state of literature’ I realize there is a gap in research regarding how centers are evaluated. Is this the same as determining the effectiveness of the institutions?
4. Potential follow-up question: Since these centers are worldwide, are there differences in any of the above based on location? National vs. International?
● The role of personality in leadership: An application of the Five-Factor Model in the Australian military 1McCormack, L., & Mellor, D. (2002). The role of personality in leadership: An application of the five-factor model in the australian military. Military Psychology, 14(3), 179-197. doi:10.1207/S15327876MP1403_1
● Challenges of Military Leadership in Changing Armies 2Shamir, B., & Ben-Ari, E. (2000). Challenges of military leadership in changing armies. JPMS : Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 28(1), 43-59.
● Personality correlates of leadership development in Canadian Forces officer candidates 3Bradley, J. P., Nicol, A. A. M., Charbonneau, D., & Meyer, J. P. (2002). Personality correlates of leadership development in Canadian Forces officer candidates. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement, 34(2), 92-103. doi:10.1037/h0087159
Plotting next steps. → understanding the leadership models taught in military academies (or what military theories are embraced by the military academies)