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Muzafer Sherif on Leadership - Dictionary of Arguments

Haslam I 158
Leadership/Sherif: Sherif’s Boys’ Camp studies (Sherif et al 1961(1), 1969(2); >Robbers Cave Experiment/Sherif)have also informed recent analyses of leadership (e.g., Platow et al., 2003(3); see also Haslam et al., 2011(4)). In particular, the changes to leaders’ status observed in Phase 2 of the Boys’ Camp studies show that neither even-handedness nor attempts to control others through power guarantee leadership success in all situations. Instead, leadership is contingent upon leaders advancing ingroup interests that vary with context. Moreover, in this respect too, Sherif also anticipated the argument of self-categorization theorists that ‘leadership is not a quality of leaders alone but rather of the relationship between leaders and followers’ (Haslam et al., 2011(4)). >Leadership/Group psychology.


1. Sherif, M., Harvey, O.J., White, B.J., Hood, W.R. and Sherif, C.W. (1961) Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment. Norman, OK: Institute of Group Relations, University of Oklahoma.
2. Sherif, M. and Sherif, C.W. (1969) Social Psychology. New York: Harper & Row.
3. Platow, M.J., Haslam, S.A., Foddy, M. and Grace, D.M. (2003) ‘Leadership as the outcome of self-categorization processes’, in D. van Knippenberg and M.A. Hogg (eds), Identity, Leadership and Power. London: Sage. pp. 34–47.
4. Haslam, S.A., Reicher, S.D. and Platow, M.J. (2011) The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power. New York: Psychology Press.



Michael W. Platow and John A. Hunter, „Intergroup Relations and Conflicts. Revisiting Sherif’s Boys’ Camp studies“, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Sherif, Muzafer
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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