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The New Psychology of Leadership

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Peter Curnin

on 29 November 2011

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Transcript of The New Psychology of Leadership

The New Psychology of Leadership The Old Psychology of

Alexander Haslam
Stephen D. Reicher
Michael Platow Identity, Influence and Power New vs. Old Psycology of Leadership
Goals for today's discussion Great Man Theory "This is one of the cornerstones of traditional academic and popular understandings of leadership. It is the model we were first introduced to in childhood books about monumental figures such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Abraham Lincoln...extraordinary figures that
seem a race apart from the rest of us." Individualistic Model
It states outright that leaders are "born" not "made" "It suggests that leaders are individuals
who are superior to others by virtue of
possession of innate intellectual and social
characteristics...made of "the right stuff" and
this stuff is in short supply." Special Stuff? "For Socrates the defining characterisitics of a great leader were quickness of learning,
good memory, courage, and broadness of vision, as well as physical presence and prowess." "Distilled into contemporary psycological thinking, these ideas
are typically related to charisma,
because the idea of charisma
captures particularly well the
sense of "something special." The political decline of the "great man" theory:
The impact of the "great dictator" WWII "As a result of having witnessed its destructive potential first-hand, in the period after WWII, attraction to strong leaders was viewed with profound skepticism, if not horror." "This shift created pressures to democratize the study of leadership...moving beyond a fascination with a very few exceptional supermen and taking leadership into the realm of everyday pschology." The Standardization of Leadership "I" thing "There are two particular problems this definition.The first is that it tends to
regard leadership as a noun rather than a verb, something that leaders
possess rather than a process in which they are participants." "The second is that its leader-centricity tends to obscure, if not completely overlook, the role that followers play in the process." vs. The New Psychology of
Leadership Weaknesses Too Static - Doesn't account for context-specific of behavior
"The critical point here is that a single
decontextualized assessment of a person's
character can never have universal validity
for the simple reason that this character
is always tied to context." "A person doesn't become a leader by virtue of the possession of some
combination of traits, but the pattern of personal characterisitcs must
bear some relevant relationship to the characteristics, activities and goals of the
followers. Thus leadership must be conceived in terms of the interaction of
variables which are in constant change and flux." ~Ralph Stogdill (1948) The cult of personality Leadership in History Non-Individualistic Model "We" thing "leadership is not just an interaction between leaders and followers as "individuals" but rather between leaders and followers as "group members." Leadership and a shared social identity( a sense of "us") go hand in hand. No leader can represent a us when there is no "us" to represent. Rule 1: Leaders need to be in-group prototypes
Rule 2: Leaders need to be in-group champions
Rule 3: Leaders need to be entrepreneurs of identity
Rule 4: leaders need to be embedders of identity "The prejudice of leadership" "The problem with this is...while different authors may agree that leadership is a matter of distinctive qualities, they all disagree as to what those qualities actually are.
Moreover, there is no evidence that any particular quality
(or combination of qualities) can guarantee success in one's attempts at leadership." context-sensitive perspective-sensitive "The first priority of those who want to be effective in shaping their social world, that is, those who would be leaders, is to be seen both as being of the group and as speaking for the group. The first rule of effective leadership, then, is that leaders need to be seen as one of us." Rule 1: Leaders need to be in-group Prototypes "Leadership is always predicatedon followership,
and the psychology of these two processes is inextricably intertwined." The more representative an individual is seen to be of a given
social identity--the more he or she is clearly "one of us"--the more
influential he or she will be within the group and the more willing other group members will be to follow his or her direction. social identity--refers to an individuals' sense of internalized group membership. Being one of us Doing it for us Prototypicality the quintessential embodiment of who “we” are.
Defines the groups social identity
pg 78 & pg 107
To lead us, leaders must represent "us" Rule 2: Leaders need to be in-group champions "In order to take followers with them, leaders must be seen
to be working for the group, rather than to be "in it" for themselves or for
another group("them"). In other words, leaders must advance
the collective interest as group members see it. Rule 3: Leaders need to be entrepreneurs of Identity Discuss the 4 general rules of the New theory Case study of Occupy Wall Street Movement Christine Lagarde
Rule 4: Leaders need to be embedders of identity Turning social indentity into social reality "Leaders don't just wait around until they and their policies come to be recognized as prototypical of the group. Rather, they work hard to construct identity in order to ensure that they and their policies are influencial." Identity Leadership preface xxi Craft a sense of us Make Us Matter Group members views of precieved fairness
provide leaders with support, and actually
help to hold the group together.
Fairness "group maintenance" "Category Boundries" Determine who acts together,
who supports each other, who shares the group values. Speaking in terms of "What believe in"
not "What beleive" WE I Entreprenuers of Identity "The point of leadership is not simply
to express what the group thinks. It is
to take the ideas and values and priorities of
the group and embed them in reality." "The psychology of leadership hinges on the
processes of social identity management--a leader's
capacity to create, coordinate and control a shared
sense of 'us'." "The effectiveness of leaders is enhanced by the mastery in using one of the basic tools of leadership: language." "Those who can combine linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to give such weight to their accounts of identity and their invocations to action will have a clear advantage over those wno cannot." egalitarian
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