Discursive Leadership: In Conversation with Leadership Psychology presents a new, groundbreaking way for scholars and graduate students to examine and explore leadership. Differing from a psychological approach to leadership which tries to get inside the heads of leaders and employees, author Gail Fairhurst focuses on the social or communicative aspects between them. A discursive approach to leadership introduces a host of relatively new ideas and concepts and helps us understand leadership’s changing role in organizations.

Membership Categorization

Membership categorization

Categorization theories are nothing new to the study of leadership. They explain how our implicit theories of leadership, or presuppositions about leadership effectiveness, function in judging others' abilities. For example, leader categorization theory (LCT) suggests that the decision to label someone a leader involves matching another's observed behavior to the prototypes that define our ‘leader’ category, such as ‘influential,’ ‘visionary,’ ‘change agent,’ and so on (Lord, Foti, & Phillips, 1982; Lord & Maher, 1991). Drawing from Rosch (1978), Lord and colleagues suggest that leadership knowledge structures are not just a single category, but a hierarchical cluster of three levels: perceivers' most broad categorization of leaders is at a superordinate level (such as ‘leader’ versus ‘non-leader’); at a basic level, perceivers distinguish leaders ...

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