prof. Alex Haslam
Professor of Psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland
Only (Re)connect: 20+ Years of the Social Identity Approach to Psychology in Organizations
It is 20 years since the breadth of organization research informed the Social Identity Approach was first extensively reviewed in Psychology in Organizations. Since that time, interest in the approach has boomed — to the point where its scope and depth is now almost impossible to chart. Nevertheless, this talk attempts to do this. Alongside a survey of key developments, it does so by focusing on three key topics that are the focus for symposia and workshops elsewhere in the conference: leadership, organizational change, and followership. Research shows that social identity is central to all these phenomena and can thereby provide a platform for a range of positive organizational outcomes. However, at the same time, it also highlights the ways in which toxic identities (and the identity leadership and engaged followership that support them) can also have problematic consequences for organizations and their members. These considerations lead to a call for greater attention to the links between social identity and health, and to the forms of identity leadership that sustain healthy organizations. The practical implications of the analysis are also brought home by a discussion of 5R — an evidence-based leadership development programme that leverages social identity insights to help leaders build inclusive, effective and flourishing teams.
Alex is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland. Together with over 400 colleagues around the world, he has written and edited 15 books and published over 300 peer-reviewed articles that explore the contribution of group and identity processes to social and organizational functioning.
His most recent books are The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power (2nd Ed. with Stephen Reicher & Michael Platow, Psychology Press, 2020), The New Psychology of Sport: The Social Identity Approach (with Katrien Fransen & Filip Boen, Sage, 2020), and The New Psychology of Health: Unlocking the Social Cure (with Catherine Haslam, Jolanda Jetten, Tegan Cruwys and Genevieve Dingle, Routledge, 2018),
Alex has received a range of major awards from scientific bodies in Australia, the US, UK and Europe for this work — including recognition for distinguished contributions to psychological science from both the British and Australian Psychological Societies. In 2022 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia “for significant service to higher education, particularly psychology, through research and mentoring”.