Skip navigation

Relational schemas to investigate the process of leadership emergence

Relational schemas to investigate the process of leadership emergence

Emery, Cecile, Carnabuci, Gianluca and Brinberg, David (2011) Relational schemas to investigate the process of leadership emergence. In: Academy of Management Proceedings. Academy of Management, pp. 1-6. ISSN 0065-0668 (doi:

PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript)
13977 EMERY_Relational_Schemas_2011.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (237kB) | Preview


Distancing itself from the traditional focus of leadership research on the behaviors and traits characteristic of "leaders," the paper argues that leaders emerge out of a process of social construction. Drawing from relational schema theory, it is argued that group members form leadership perceptions that conform to a limited set of shared "hierarchical" relational schemas. Accordingly, whenever the leadership perceptions of an individual do not conform (i.e., they are hierarchically inconsistent) with those of other group members, he/she is induced to reduce such inconsistencies by aligning his/her own leadership perceptions. The paper tests this argument using a multi-method, multi-study approach. Study 1 follows the process of leadership emergence within a newly formed social group, showing how hierarchical relational schemas are reflected in the evolving network of leadership choices within the group. Study 2 uses a vignette experiment to directly test how hierarchical relational schemas affect people’s leadership perceptions.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Academy of Management Proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Leadership emergence; Relational schemas; Social network analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Business > Leadership and Organisational Behaviour Research Group
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics