For over 30. years information-processing approaches to leadership and more specifically Implicit Leadership Theories (ILTs) research has contributed a significant body of knowledge on leadership processes in applied settings. A new line of research on Implicit Followership Theories (IFTs) has re-ignited interest in information-processing and socio-cognitive approaches to leadership and followership. In this review, we focus on organizational research on ILTs and IFTs and highlight their practical utility for the exercise of leadership and followership in applied settings. We clarify common misperceptions regarding the implicit nature of ILTs and IFTs, review both direct and indirect measures, synthesize current and ongoing research on ILTs and IFTs in organizational settings, address issues related to different levels of analysis in the context of leadership and follower schemas and, finally, propose future avenues for organizational research.
- implicit leadership theories (ILTs)
- implicit followership theories (IFTs)
- leader categorization theory