The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power / Edition 1

The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power / Edition 1

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Taylor & Francis


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The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power / Edition 1

According to John Adair, the most important word in the leader's vocabulary is "we" and the least important word is "I". If this is true, it raises one important question: Why do psychological analyses of leadership always focus on the leader as an individual - the great "I".

One answer is that psychologists have never properly understood the psychology of "we-ness". This book presents a new psychology of leadership that is the result of two decades of research inspired by social identity and self-categorization theories. It argues that to succeed, leaders need to create, champion, and embed a sense of group identity of which they themselves are representative. It also shows how, by doing this, they can make a material difference to the groups, organizations, and societies that they lead.

Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book examines a range of central theoretical and practical issues, including the nature of group identity, the basis of authority and legitimacy, the dynamics of justice and fairness, the determinants of followership and charisma, and the practice and politics of leadership.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781841696102
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/08/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 525,215
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures ix

List of tables xi

Foreword xiii

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxv

1 The old psychology of leadership: Great men and the cult of personality 1

Leadership in history: The "great man" and his charisma 2

The political decline of the "great man" approach: The impact of the "great dictators" 5

The standardization of leadership: Personality models and their failings 7

The biographical approach: Looking for the roots of greatness in personal histories 10

The theoretical deficiency of individualistic models 12

The political deficiency of individualistic models 14

The faulty definition of leadership 16

Conclusion: Five criteria for a useful psychology of leadership 17

2 The current psychology of leadership: Issues of context and contingency, transaction and transformation 21

The importance of context and contingency 22

The importance of followers 28

The importance of that "special something" 38

Conclusion: The need for a new psychology of leadership 42

3 Foundations for the new psychology of leadership: Social identity and self-categorization 45

Social identity and group behavior 46

Social identity and collective power 60

Defining social identities 64

Conclusion: Setting the agenda for a new psychology of leadership 73

4 Being one of us: Leaders as in-group prototypes 77

The importance of standing for the group 78

Prototypicality and leadership effectiveness 82

Prototypicality and leadership stereotypes 94

Prototypicality and the creativity of leaders 103

Conclusion: To lead us, leaders must represent "us" 106

5 Doing it for us: Leaders as in-group champions 109

The importance of fairness 111

From fairness to group interest 118

Clarifying the group interest 130

Conclusion: To engage followers, leaders' actions and visions must promote group interests 132

6 Crafting a sense of us: Leaders as entrepreneurs of identity 137

The complex relationship between reality, representativeness, and leadership 138

Social identities as world-making resources 143

Who can mobilize us? The importance of defining category prototypes 147

Who is mobilized? The importance of defining category boundaries 155

What is the nature of mobilization? The importance defining category content 159

Conclusion: Leaders are masters not slaves of identity 162

7 Making us matter: Leaders as embedders of identity 165

Identity as a moderator of the relationship between authority and power 166

Leaders as artists of identity 171

Leaders as impresarios of identity 179

Leaders as engineers of identity 188

Conclusion: Leadership and the production of power both center on the hard but rewarding work of identity management 192

8 Identity leadership at large: Prejudice, practice, and politics 197

The prejudice of leadership 198

The practice of leadership 205

The politics of leadership 215

Notes 219

References 223

Glossary 245

Index of leaders and leadership contexts 253

Author index 257

Subject index 263

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