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Social Identity Theory of Leadership

Leadership is a core feature of groups and ranges from leaders of small teams through corporate chief executive officers (CEOs) to national and global leaders who stride the world stage. It is difficult to imagine groups that do not have some form of leadership. Leaders coordinate and motivate the actions of group members to achieve group goals, but they also set the goals and provide an overall vision for the group.

Most leadership research is conducted outside social psychology, in the organizational sciences, and focuses principally on organizational leadership and the psychology of the CEO. One feature of leadership that has been underemphasized by this literature is its identity function: Leaders define what a group stands for and thus the identity of the group's members. We ...

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