Change Leadership: A Social Identity Perspective

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This chapter takes a social identity perspective on change leadership. Although leading change is considered to be an essential part of leadership in general, the empirical literature on this topic is relatively sparse. Yet, the social identity perspective provides valuable insights into this topic, in particular, shedding light on why individuals resist or support change and how leaders can play a role in facilitating positive change pathways. Drawing on this literature, we develop a multi-identity pathway model, which outlines how leaders can enable employee change adjustment by enhancing perceptions of identity continuity and identity gain during change processes. This model further explores the identity management behaviors that leaders can employ to inspire support for change, and the different (organizational, team, and occupational) identity foci that may facilitate positive change reactions. Finally, we discuss whether shared or distributed models of leadership are feasible leadership mechanisms in fostering strong post-change support among employees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe psychology of organizational change
Subtitle of host publicationNew insights on the antecedents and consequences of individuals' responses to change
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781009086721
ISBN (Print)9781009078078
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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