Our Projects

Leadership through Identity Development Approach (LIDA)

The New Psychology of Leadership (Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2011) argues that leadership is a process of identity development and management that centres on a leader’s ability to create, advance, represent, and embed a sense of shared identity within a particular group. This claim is supported by a large body of evidence, much of which has been conducted by members of SIGN.

Yet if this is the case, then a critical question for practitioners — and for organizational psychology as a whole — is what strategies leaders should pursue in order to develop and manage group identities. This is the question that the Leadership through Identity Development Approach (LIDA) endeavours to resolve.

Building on previous work informed by the ASPIRe model (Haslam et al., 2003; Peters et al., 2012), LIDA takes leaders through a three-stage process. First, they ascertain the identity resources in their group, primarily through a process of social identity mapping. Second, they engage in subgroup caucusing to discover the goals and aspirations associated with different identities (Representing). Third, they identify identity-related goals and embed relevant practices and policies to help achieve them. These three phases correspond to the “3Rs of identity leadership” identified in the New Psychology of Leadership: Reflecting, Representing and Realizing.

Members of SIGN — notably Alex Haslam, Kim Peters and Nik Steffens, and Randal Tame — are currently working on a number of projects in which they are seeking to explore and test various elements of the LIDA process. Initial results are very encouraging and a range of further tests are ongoing and planned for the future.