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date: 27 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Leadership is the process of influencing others in a manner that enhances their contribution to the realization of group goals. We demonstrate how social influence emerges from psychological in-group members, particularly highly in-group prototypical ones. Through leader fairness, respect, and other rhetorical behaviors, leaders become entrepreneurs of identity, creating a shared sense of “us.” Personality research reveals contextual variability in correlations with leadership outcomes, suggesting that situational parameters exert their own influence over the influence of would-be leaders. Successful transactional leadership is predicated upon a shared social identity, and transformational leadership can help create that identity. Group members have shared beliefs about what makes a leader, with these beliefs themselves fluctuating with changes in the group and intergroup context. Approaching the analysis of leadership from a psychological group perspective allows us to understand leadership literature as an integrated oeuvre that provides insight into leadership’s foundation.

Keywords: Leadership, psychological group, social identity, in-group prototypicality, transactional leadership, transformational leadership, leader stereotypes

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