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date: 26 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a novel approach to integrating leadership theories and social network perspectives. Unlike previous efforts that are organized around social network concepts, the author initiates a dialog that is organized in relation to leadership theories. He begins by identifying several of the primary explanatory accounts whereby leadership is held to affect the discretionary attitudes and behaviors of organizational members. These explanatory accounts include exchange, the basis of Leader–Member Exchange (LMX) theory; categorization, including Implicit Leadership Theory (ILT) and other cognitive approaches; and identity processes, such as identification, internalization, and the engagement of self-systems. These causal accounts then serve as the focal point for initiating dialog with the social network perspective and its emphasis on embeddedness within the structure of relationships. In some cases, opportunities for integration emerge readily; in others, the juxtaposition of leadership theories and the social network perspectives is less easily resolved in a new synthesis.

Keywords: embeddedness, identification, implicit leadership theories, internalization, leader–member exchange theory, self-concept, social networks

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