The term idiosyncrasy credit was first coined by Edwin Hollander in a 1958 Psychological Review article in which he addressed the issue of how individuals gain support for their innovative ideas from other group members. The idea was particularly influential in the field of leadership research where, in light of evidence that those who deviate from group norms are often rejected, a critical theoretical and practical question centers on how leaders encourage followers to support and embrace new practices. Hollander's answer to this question revolves around the idea that to initiate change, individual group members (leaders) need to build up psychological credit with other group members (followers), so that the latter will be open to their idiosyncratic ideas. In this way, idiosyncrasy credit gives individuals ...

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