Leadership, Identity and Performance: The Nature and Effect of ‘Prototypicality’ in Indonesia

David Hudson, Claire Mcloughlin, Anna Margret, Yolanda Pandjaitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)


What makes a leader worthy of support? The article uses novel survey and experimental data from Indonesia to test the proposition that identity trumps performance for citizens perceptions of their political leaders. The results confirm theories of ‘prototypicality’—leaders that best reflect and represent the identity of the group tend to be more trusted and have a licence to fail. We argue and show that the dimensions of identity that matter most varies and is context specific. In the Indonesian context religious identity is most important. But the data also suggest that this varies across space, time, and follower identity: We show that gender matters, as women are less easily persuaded by prototypicality. We conclude by reflecting on the implications for leaders, politics and support for leadership development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
JournalPolitics and Governance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020


  • Indonesia
  • leadership
  • prototypicality
  • social identity theory
  • women in politics


Dive into the research topics of 'Leadership, Identity and Performance: The Nature and Effect of ‘Prototypicality’ in Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this