We propose that a leadership identity is coconstructed in organizations when individuals claim and grant leader and follower identities in their social interactions. Through this claiming-granting process, individuals internalize an identity as leader or follower, and those identities become relationally recognized through reciprocal role adoption and collectively endorsed within the organizational context. We specify the dynamic nature of this process, antecedents to claiming and granting, and an agenda for research on leadership identity and development.
DeRue, D. S., & Ashford, S. J. (2010). Who will lead and who will follow? A social process of leadership identity construction in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 35(4), 627-647.