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Overview of the articles
The goal of this special issue was to capture recent theoretical and empirical developments in Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories that address some of the more dynamic aspects of the leadership process. In the five articles that follow, both theoretical and empirical advances are evident, and represent two major themes. The first two articles advance our understanding of the dynamic aspects of implicit theories by focusing on the influence process and investigating relational schemas or implicit theory congruence. The remaining three articles enhance our understanding of the dynamic nature of implicit theories by focusing on either the temporal aspect of implicit theories or the role of emotional expression. Table 1 provides an overview of the focus of each article in terms of characteristics of the implicit theory and method used.
Overall, this special issue was meant to bring together articles using a variety of theoretical and methodological advancements to enhance our understanding of the role of implicit theories in the leadership process. A better understanding of ILTs and IFTs is essential to understanding how the leadership processes develop and unfolds over time. For example, as noted by DeRue and Ashford (2010), if a would-be leader makes a leadership (influence) attempt but others do not respond in turn with following behavior(s) then it is not leadership. Future research needs to take a more dynamic and perhaps a more systems oriented erspective. Further advancement of knowledge in the area of implicit theories will require a better match between our dynamic and process oriented conceptualization of the leadership and our research (Dinh, Lord, Gardner, Meuser, Liden, & Hu, 2014).