Chapter 13. Developing Intergroup Leadership

Chris Ernst

Kelly M. Hannum

Marian N. Ruderman

The theme weaving all the chapters in Part Two is that new models of leadership and leadership development are required to address increasingly complex organizational challenges. In this chapter, we examine the challenges and opportunities of leadership across intergroup boundaries. Traditionally leadership research and practice have focused on leadership within groups in which members are bound by a common culture, shared set of tasks, and overlapping values. In today's interconnected and diverse world, however, leadership increasingly takes place (that is, direction, alignment, and commitment must be produced) between and across groups that have interdependent work. Intergroup boundaries are marked by distinct and often competing or conflicting differences in histories, experiences, values, and cultures. Our focus here is on collectives identified as groups based on social identity differences (see Chapter Five), such as gender, religion, race, generation, culture, or ideology, or based on organizational differences, such as function, level, region, or professional affiliation. Organizations have become the central meeting places where groups that see themselves as having different characteristics and priorities, and that in many cases have historically remained apart, are now being brought together. When organizations, collectives, and individuals develop collaborative, intergroup leadership ...

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