Social identity framing communication strategies for mobilizing social change

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Social identity framing communication strategies for mobilizing social change
The Leadership Quarterly

Social identity framing delineates a set of communication tactics that leaders may use to harness follower support for a vision of social change. An experimental design tested the effectiveness of three social identity framing communication tactics (inclusive language similarity language positive social identity language) on follower outcomes. Students (N = 246) completed dependent measures after reading one of eight possible leader speeches promoting renewable energy on campus. Results showed that participants exposed to inclusive language were more likely to: indicate that renewable energy was ingroup normative; intend to engage in collective action to bring renewable energy to campus; experience positive emotions and confidence about change; and to view the leader more positively. The combination of inclusive language and positive social identity increased ratings of leader charisma. Perceived leader prototypicality was related to followers' social identification environmental values ingroup injunctive norms and self-stereotypes. Positive social identity language increased collective self-esteem. These results underline the important role of implicating social identity in leader communication that strives to
mobilize follower support for social change.

The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 468 – 486

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