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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

While perhaps viewed as the dark side of leadership, few academics or practitioners would not acknowledge that effective leaders are skilled politicians. The current chapter seeks to dispel notions of politics in general, and political skill in specific, as necessary evils of leadership and cast them simply as necessary for leadership. By recognizing leadership as a political process revolving around the facilitation of shared meaning, we review the development of the political skill construct and its integration with leadership research, including leader-member exchange (LMX), relational leadership, political leadership, and the CEO-celebrity effect. The authors then identify areas in which scholarship has been relatively absent and discuss how addressing these areas in future research offer an important step toward developing a more comprehensive theory of politics and leadership.

Keywords: Leadership, political skill, organizational politics, relational leadership, leader-member exchange

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