To inquire of a phenomenon how it is configured or set up is to investigate its properties and the dynamics of their operation. Because in the case of leadership the persisting orthodoxy that there is a leader and a plurality of followers is so deeply culturally entrenched, such an inquiry risks being dismissed as either superfluous or pointless. But what if it could be shown that there exists a plurality of leaders, so that leadership is a kind of moveable feast that migrates between individuals? This was roughly the point of recognition at which the Australian social psychologist, Cecil Gibb, arrived in the mid 1950s. Gibb’s (1954) realization about plurality prompted him to distinguish between a leadership relationship that was focused on just one individual as the leader and a relationship in which leadership was distributed among a number of individuals, with the validity of the claim to being a...
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