(II) Prof. Alex Haslam
School of Psychology
University of Queensland, Australia
Title: The new psychology of leadership: From theory to practice
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. It argues that leadership is the product of individuals’ ‘we-ness’ rather than of their ‘I-ness’. This perspective forces us to see leadership, influence and power 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. 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 implications for all-important issues of theory and practice.