One of Us: Social Identity, Group Belonging and Leadership
Author(s)Hogg, Michael A.
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The title of this paper suggests a paradox. Leaders are simultaneously separate from and the same as their followers. They have higher status, greater influence, and more power, and occupy a different role, but they are also members of and identify with the same group as their followers. George W. Bush, as president, is certainly quite separate from most Americans, but he identifies himself as an American, and he spends a great deal of time making sure all Americans know this. However, if we take a fairly common type of definition of leadership as “a process of social influence through which an individual enlists and mobilizes the aid of others in the attainment of a collective goal” (Chemers, 2001, 376), then we can see that Bush is only really a leader to those who will follow—those who share his definition of American and therefore those who share his identity, group membership, and collective goal.
Center for Public Leadership
Center for Public Leadership Working Paper Series;05-01
hks, cpl, kennedy school, leadership, social identity
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