The 5R Program: Social Identity-Based Leadership Development to Promote Engagement and Health in Organizations

Steffens, N. (University of Queensland), Haslam, A. (University of Queensland), Peters, K. (University of Queensland), McMillan, B. (University of Queensland), Bentley, S. V. (University of Queensland)

Social identity research shows that leadership is a process of group identity development that centres on a leader’s ability to create, advance, represent, and embed a sense of shared identity within a group. However, we know little about how leaders can engage in identity leadership and what strategies and activities they can use to develop and manage group identities in the workplace. To address this issue, we will introduce the 5R leadership development program. This program consists of a loop of five iterative processes: (1) Readying (understanding the importance of social identity processes for leadership in organizations), (2) Reflecting (identifying important social identities at work), (3) Representing (identifying aspirations and goals associated with different subgroup identities), (4) Realising (identifying goals that are shared between subgroup and superordinate group and planning the embedding of strategies and practices to achieve them), and (5) Reporting (presenting strategies and assessing progress towards goals). Results of an initial longitudinal study with senior leaders and their team members from a public organisation are presented. Results indicated that 5R is a useful framework for leadership development that translates insights from social identity theory and empirical research into structured intervention.

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