Cognitive shifts within leader and follower teams: Where consensus develops in mental models during an organizational crisis

David J Carrington, Ian A Combe, Michael D. Mumford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This empirical study investigates cognitive shifts in both leader and follower teams when developing consensus or agreement in how to resolve a slowly emerging organizational crisis over time. The cognitive maps of leaders and followers are analyzed in team settings to explain where consensus is formed. The findings indicate that consensus, or the agreement on the causal beliefs held to be critical to organizational adaptation and success, builds over time within both leader and follower teams. However, when comparing the development of consensus longitudinally, the findings confirm that the mental models of leadership teams converge towards follower teams, and not the other way around, during the crisis. The study provides new insights into the importance of the causal beliefs of follower teams when developing a vision to coordinate action to resolve a crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-350
Number of pages16
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online date20 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license
Funding: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) EREBUS capacity building cluster - reference: RES-187-24-0005

Keywords

  • Cognitive mapping
  • Cognitive shift
  • Consensus
  • Leaders and followers
  • Mental models

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