Leadership is historically studied through the lens of individual leaders. We describe people as either leaderlike or not. We describe historical events through great leaders. We describe horrible events as a failure of leadership.
What this perspective misses is the larger unit that a leader exists within, the collective. The importance of the collective is also emphasized by the fact that most current organizations are shifting to more team-based structures. Gone are everyone following one leader, and in is a flat organization where evenly ranked people work together. As a result, the study of leadership has emphaized the concept of leadership emergence. Emergence answers the question of: how does a collective leadership structure emerge from a team with no designated leaders?
While the study of leadership emergence sounds exciting and timely, there is a problem: most work has focused on individuals rather than collective dynamics 1. This creates a challenge, we know a lot about the characterstics of people who emerge as leaders, but we understand the core rule that determine how a collective leadership emerges.
The goal of this work is to both theorize about and study the actual processes that underlie leadership emergence. I will continually add projects, papers, code, and other materials related to this set of projects.