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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews a range of social psychological approaches, such as transactional models, transformational models and social identity models, which analyse leadership in terms of the interactions between leaders and followers. Following the social identity approach, the authors show how leadership needs to be understood as a relationship between leaders and followers within a social group, and hence that effective leadership is a form of social identity management. They then dissect the various dimensions of this management process. Skilled leaders need actively to construe themselves as embodying the norms and values of the group, they need to construe their acts as being in the interests of the group, and they need to be effective in translating group norms and priorities into practical realities. The authors conclude by arguing that the relationship between leadership and democracy depends upon the relative weight accorded to leaders and followers in defining the group identity and hence the priorities for group action.

Keywords: Leadership, leaders, followers, transactional leadership, transformational leadership, social identity

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