• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Leadership and associated power issues lie at the core of group life in a variety of contexts. Even the most informal of groups typically have some form of leadership in their organization, and the understanding of leadership and power from a psychological standpoint can inform a greater understanding of group dynamics both inside and outside of the workplace. Leadership and Power is a synthesis of contributions from eminent social psychologists and organizational scientists that addresses these issues from a fresh perspective. In recent years, these themes have been re-examined through the lens of social categorization approaches that highlight people's social identity and social roles as group members, as well as the processes that influence perceptions of and expectations about people and groups. The book is wide-ranging; chapters cover such diverse issues as: interpersonal versus group-oriented styles of leadership; leadership of totalist groups; political leadership; and gender and leadership. It represents a state-of-the-art overview of this burgeoning field that will be important to a host of disciplines. Elements of cross-referencing to highlight thematic links as well as effective chapter conclusions will make the text appealing to advanced students taking courses in social and organizational psychology, management and organization studies, not just scholars interested in these themes.

Identity, Power, and Strategic Social Categorizations: Theorizing the Language of Leadership
Identity, power, and strategic social categorizations: Theorizing the language of leadership
Scott A.ReidSikHung Ng

Leaders emerge and fall from power based on their relationship with followers. Because leadership is a collective and dynamic process it is highly dependent on language and social identity. Leaders cannot exist without followers, and so they must use language to define themselves, their ingroup, and relevant out-groups. A basic goal of such discursive positioning is the mobilization of group identity. To galvanize a group for action, leaders will need to take advantage of followers’ social psychological motives. These include: the desire for group distinctiveness, positive social identity, a coherent understanding of social events, and justifications for group actions (see Tajfel, 1981). ...

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