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Romance of Leadership

Leadership is one of the most discussed, studied, and written about topics in our society. Should it be? The romance of leadership (ROL) is an attributional approach to leadership that attempts to understand when and why we recognize and give credit to leaders for influencing and changing our institutions and societies. First introduced by leadership scholar James R. Meindl and colleagues, this approach highlights the fact that leaders and leadership issues often become the favored explanations for both positive and negative outcomes in organizations. In addition, subsequent research has demonstrated that people value performance results more highly when those results are attributed to leadership and that a halo effect exists for leadership: If an individual is perceived to be an effective leader, his or her ...

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