Haslam, S. A. & Reicher, S. D. (2007).
Identity entrepreneurship and the consequences of identity failure: The dynamics of leadership in the BBC Prison Study. Social Psychology Quarterly, 70, 125-147.
- Abstract: The BBC Prison Study was an experimental case study in which participants were randomly assigned to groups as prisoners or guards. This paper examines the impact of interventions designed to increaseprisoners’ sense of shared social identity on processes of leadership. It presents psychometric, behavioral and observational data which support the propositions that (a) social identity makes leadership possible, (b) effective leadership facilitates the development of social identity, and (c) the long-term success (and failure) of leadership depends of the viability of identity-related projects. The study also points to the role of identity failure in precipitating change in general and the emergence of authoritarian leadership in particular. Findings provide integrated support for claims that social identity and self-categorization processes are fundamental to the leadership process and associated experiences of collective efficacy.
Haslam, S. A., & Reicher, S. D. (2007).
Social identity and the dynamics of organizational life: Insights from the BBC Prison Study. In C. Bartel, S. Blader, & A. Wrzesniewski (Eds.) Identity and the modern organization (pp.135–166). New York: Erlbaum.
Reicher, S. D., Haslam, S. A., & Hopkins, N. (2005).
Social identity and the dynamics of leadership: Leaders and followers as collaborative agents in the transformation of social reality. Leadership Quarterly, 16, 547–568.
- Abstract: Traditional models see leadership as a form of zero-sum game in which leader agency is achieved at the expense of follower agency and vice versa. Against this view, the present paper argues that leadership is a vehicle for social identity-based collective agency in which leaders and followers are partners. Drawing upon evidence from a range of historical sources and from the BBC Prison Study, the present paper explores the two sides of this partnership: the way in which a shared sense of identity makes leadership possible and the way in which leaders act as entrepreneurs of identity in order to make particular forms of identity and their own leadership viable. The analysis also focuses (a) on the way in which leaders’ identity projects are constrained by social reality and (b) on the manner in which effective leadership contributes to the transformation of this reality through the initiation of structure that mobilizes and redirects a group’s identity-based social power.