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Implicit leadership theories.

Schyns, B. and Riggio, R.E. (2016) 'Implicit leadership theories.', in Global encyclopedia of public administration, public policy, and governance. Cham: Springer, pp. 1-7.


While leadership is often seen as what leaders do, more recent work in this area acknowledges that leadership is a process of interaction between different actors (i.e., leaders and followers) and the environment. This notion of a process of interaction leads straight to the question of what shapes this interaction. Why do leaders behave the way they do? Why do followers react the way they do? One way of looking into this question is to turn to implicit leadership theories. Implicit leadership theories (ILTs) are everyday theories that individuals hold about leaders in general (or ideal leaders). They are mental representations of leaders and influence how an individual acts toward leaders or as leaders based on these cognitive representations. These cognitive representations are similar to stereotypes, in that they are stored in memory and will be activated when the person meets an individual whose characteristics and behavior matches their implici ...

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF (Copyright agreement prohibits open access to the full-text)
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:30 November 2016
Date deposited:16 June 2016
Date of first online publication:12 May 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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