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Dyads of Politics and the Politics of Dyads: Implications for Leader Development

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-1-80043-076-1, eISBN: 978-1-80043-075-4

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 24 July 2020


Persistent change has placed considerable pressure on organizations to keep up or fade into obscurity. Firms that remain viable, or even thrive, are staffed with decision-makers who capably steer organizations toward opportunities and away from threats. Accordingly, leadership development has never been more critical. In this chapter, the authors propose that leader development is an inherently dyadic process initiated to communicate formal and informal expectations. The authors focus on the informal component, in the form of organizational politics, as an element of leadership that is critical to employee and company success. The authors advocate that superiors represent the most salient information source for leader development, especially as it relates to political dynamics embedded in work systems. The authors discuss research associated with our conceptualization of dyadic political leader development (DPLD). Specifically, the authors develop DPLD by exploring its conceptual underpinnings as they relate to sensemaking, identity, and social learning theories. Once established, the authors provide a refined discussion of the construct, illustrating its scholarly mechanisms that better explain leader development processes and outcomes. The authors then expand research in the areas of political skill, political will, political knowledge, and political phronesis by embedding our conceptualization of DPLD into a political leadership model. The authors conclude by discussing methodological issues and avenues of future research stemming from the development of DPLD.



Hochwarter, W.A., Kapoutsis, I., Jordan, S.L., Khan, A.K. and Babalola, M. (2020), "Dyads of Politics and the Politics of Dyads: Implications for Leader Development", Buckley, M.R., Wheeler, A.R., Baur, J.E. and Halbesleben, J.R.B. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 38), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-143.



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