Leadership as social identity management: Introducing the Identity Leadership Inventory (ILI) to assess and validate a four-dimensional model
Although nearly two decades of research have provided support for the social identity approach to leadership, most previous work has focused on leaders' identity prototypicality while neglecting the assessment of other equally important dimensions of social identity management. However, recent theoretical developments have argued that in order to mobilize and direct followers' energies, leaders need not only to 'be one of us' (identity prototypicality), but also to 'do it for us' (identity advancement), to 'craft a sense of us' (identity entrepreneurship), and to 'embed a sense of us' (identity impresarioship). In the present research we develop and validate an Identity Leadership Inventory (ILI) that assesses these dimensions in different contexts and with diverse samples from the US, China, and Belgium. Study 1 demonstrates that the scale has content validity such that the items meaningfully differentiate between the four dimensions. Studies 2, 3, and 4 provide evidence for the scale's construct validity (distinguishing between dimensions), discriminant validity (distinguishing identity leadership from authentic leadership, leaders' charisma, and perceived leader quality), and criterion validity (relating the ILI to key leadership outcomes). We conclude that by assessing multiple facets of leaders' social identity management the ILI has significant utility for both theory and practice.
This work has been supported by a grant (FL110100199) from the Australian Research Council awarded to the second author, a grant from the Research Foundation Flanders awarded to the fifth author, and a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC no. 70962001) awarded to the sixth author
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 25, pp. 1001 - 1024