Leading Us and Them: Intergroup Leadership in Organizations



In recent years organizational leadership research has focused on the transformational role of the charismatic CEO. However, the greatest challenge of leadership is being able to transcend deep intergroup divides to unify disparate often conflicting groups so that they subscribe to and are motivated to achieve a single overarching vision – for example, the leadership challenges in Iraq, the EU and Germany, and the current presidential race in the United States. Organizational leadership research has tended to underemphasize this intergroup aspect of leadership. Today I say a few words about the social identity theory of leadership (Hogg & van Knippenberg, 2003) and sketch out ways in which it, in conjunction with insights from the social psychology of intergroup relations, may be able to theorize intergroup leadership (Hogg, in press). I will describe some preliminary data (Hohman, Hogg & Bligh, in press). From an organizational perspective this analysis may have particular relevance in the context of mergers and acquisitions, trans-national/trans-cultural corporations, and intra-organizational departmental/divisional silos.
Hohman, Z. P., Hogg, M. A., & Bligh, M. C. (in press). Identity and intergroup leadership: Asymmetrical political and national identification in response to uncertainty. Self and Identity.
Hogg, M. A. (in press). From group conflict to social harmony: Leading across diverse and conflicting social identities. In T. Pittinsky (Ed.), Crossing the divide: Intergroup leadership in a world of difference. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Hogg, M. A., & van Knippenberg, D. (2003). Social identity and leadership processes in groups. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 35, pp. 1-52). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Contact information:
Prof.dr. Daan van Knippenberg