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Shaughnessy, Brooke A.; Treadway, Darren C.; Breland, Jacob W.; Perrewé, Pamela L. (2017): Informal Leadership Status and Individual Performance: The Roles of Political Skill and Political Will. In: Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1: pp. 83-94


Informal leadership has been a topic of growing interest in recent years, with the recognition that much remains to be known about this phenomenon. In the present study, an integrative social-political conceptualization of informal leadership is proposed and tested. The research question was tested through individual self-report survey questions, a network-based consensus informal leadership measure whereby each employee identified informal leaders in their network, and individual performance provided by the organization. Specifically, the mediated moderation test demonstrated that employees high in political will, as operationalized by power motivation, were more likely to be collectively recognized as informal leaders than those low in political will, and the performance of these informal leaders was found to be contingent on their political skill. By capturing informal leadership using a consensus measure, the results of this study provide a first look at informal leadership in an organizational setting, not team or group. Furthermore, the current research offers a social networkpolitical conceptualization of informal leadership in organizations that contributes to theory, research, and practice.