Without followers there are no leaders, and without leaders there can be no followers. When a group decides that one person is to be in charge, they have picked a leader. That leader needs to have a dyadic relationship with their followers. This relationship can cause people to feel like they are part of the in-group or part of the out-group.
People that are part of the in-group work more closely with the leader. They are more willing to do more. Also, they look for ways to advance the group’s overall goals (Northouse, 2016). The leader is able to use a transformational leadership style with the in-group. The close working relationship between the leader and the in-group allows the leader to satisfy the needs of the in-group. Also, a transformational leader will be more “concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and the long-term goals” of the in-group (Northouse, 2016, p. 161).
People that are part of the out-group do just enough to get by. Their relationship with the leader would be a transactional one. The leader pays the out-group for the work they do. There is no motivating the out-group members to do more. Also, there is no emotional exchange between the follower and leader. The leader will focus less time and energy on the out-group, while focusing more on the in-group. This focus will lend the leader to be more transactional with the out-group. The leader will have to make “deals” or transaction with the out-group to get them to do more.
Leadership can and does go hand-in-hand with what type of followers they have. If the leader has followers that fall into the in-group, he can be more transformational with that group. They will respond to the extra focus, emotions, and standards the leader will give them. The out-group will only respond to a transactional leadership style. They are only at their job for a pay check and do just what is required of them (Northouse, 2016).
Again, without followers there are no leaders, and without leaders there are no followers. The type of followers will dictate the type of leadership style. In-group followers will dictate a transformational leadership style. This style allows for the in-group to grow and to do more. Out-group followers will dictate a transactional leadership style. Out-group members are not interested in growing. They only do what they need to keep their job and to receive their paycheck. Followers, whether they are part of the in-group or the out-group, dictate the style their leader will need to use.
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.