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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crossing the Divide #3--Conflict to Harmony

From Group Conflict to Social Harmony: Leading Across Diverse and Conflicting Social Identities by Michael Hogg. Identity issues cause most of the obstacles to good intergroup leadership. People look toward their leaders to help define the group’s benefit/value to society. Social identity theory suggests that to be successful as emerging leaders, they must be seen as prototypes of the group—have experiences and backgrounds similar to their potential constituents. However, there is often more than one intergroup identity competing for dominance. Moreover, leaders usually emerge from the subgroups and thus have a potential bias, which can erode trust from significant segments of the entire group. The excellent leader helps develop a super ordinate identity—a larger tent that can embrace all the other identities and not threaten subgroups.

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