Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Implicit Theory of Leadership
What is leadership? Is it leaders' behavior or our image of it? For example, if you are a female manager, how often has an outsider taken you for your own secretary? How often does that happen to your male colleague? This is what research on implicit leadership theories (ILT) focuses on. What are our ideas of what a leader is like (e.g., male, as further explored later in this paragraph)? Whereas prior leadership research has studied the leader and his or her behavior, scholars studying ILT have taken a different approach. According to ILT scholars, the actual behavior or characteristics of the leader are less important for finding out what leadership is than our particular ideas about what leaders are and what characteristics or behaviors they should exhibit. It has become clear that individuals are well able to produce ideas about leaders in general, ideal leaders, effective leaders, and leader ...