Article: article from journal or magazin.
Leader distance: A review and a proposed theory
The concept of leader distance has been subsumed in a number of leadership theories; however, with few exceptions, leadership scholars have not expressly defined nor discussed leader distance, how distance is implicated in the legitimization of a leader, and how distance affects leader outcomes. We review available literature and demonstrate that integral to untangling the dynamics of the leadership influencing process is an understanding of leader-follower distance. We present distance in terms of three independent dimensions: leader-follower physical distance, perceived social distance, and perceived task interaction frequency. We discuss possible antecedents of leader-follower distance, including organizational and task characteristics, national culture, and leader/follower implicit motives. Finally, we use configural theory to present eight typologies (i.e., coexistence of a cluster or constellation of independent factors serving as a unit of analysis) of leader distance and propose an integrated cross-level model of leader distance, linking the distance typologies to leader outcomes at the individual and group levels of analysis.
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