Effective leadership lies at the heart of human progress and it is generally explained in terms of the personal qualities of leaders that set them apart from others — as superior, special, different. In contrast to this view, The New Psychology of Leadership argues that effective leadership is grounded in leaders’ capacity to embody and promote a social identity that they share with others — a process we refer to as identity leadership.
It argues that leadership is the product of individuals’ ‘we-ness’ rather than of their ‘I-ness’. This perspective forces us to see leadership, motivation and influence not as processes that revolve around individuals acting and thinking in isolation, but as group processes in which leaders and followers are joined together — and perceive themselves to be joined together — in shared endeavour. But in order for this to succeed, leaders need to represent and champion the group and they also need to create and embed a sense of shared identity.
This talk presents compelling evidence of these processes in action and spells out all- important implications for practice that centre on evidence-based tools and interventions that have successfully translated the theory of identity leadership into practice.
We are developing an exciting programme of Keynote and Current Issue presentations as well as invited symposia reflecting the best of science and practice from Europe and around the world.
Alex Haslam is a Professor of Psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow (2012-18) at the University of Queensland. His research focuses on the study of leadership, group, and identity processes in organizational and health contexts.