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.
Chapter 3: Leader-Member Relations and Social Identity
Leader-Member Relations and Social Identity
The question we address in this chapter is a simple one. To be effective, should leaders, particularly leaders of relatively small groups such as work teams in organizations, treat their followers in a depersonalized manner as an undifferentiated mass of people who share membership in the same group? Or should leaders treat them in a personalized manner that acknowledges them as unique individuals who differ from other group members?
At first sight, a personalized leadership style might appear to be the most effective. Being recognized and treated by the leader as a unique individual is likely to be more rewarding than being treated merely as one of the crowd. Thus, a personalized leadership style should build ...