Center For Creative Leadership Presents Ulmer Award to Dr. Edwin P. Hollander

Dr. Edwin P. Hollander received the Center’s 2004 Walter F. Ulmer Jr. Applied Research Award. Dr. Hollander was appointed University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Baruch College and the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1989, and was granted Emeritus status in 1999. He has held visiting appointments as a Fulbright Professor at Istanbul University, an NIMH Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute in London, and Wisconsin, Harvard, Oxford and the Institute of American Studies in Paris.

The following is a summary of his presentation, entitled “Studying Inclusive Leadership: Mutual Influence and Idiosyncrasy Credit in Leader-Follower Relations”:

Leadership is not just about a leader. Studying leadership needs attention to how followers perceive and respond to a leader, in a mutual influence relationship. Within a particular context, this dynamic process can be called “inclusive leadership.” It begins with the leader’s perceived legitimacy, as in appointment or election, which has to be acknowledged by the responsiveness of followers. Inclusive leadership also emphasizes doing things with people, not to people. To understand the leader-follower relationship, it is useful to conceive of credits accorded the leader by followers. This view departs from the long-standing “leader-centric” focus on leader qualities, largely independent of how these are seen by and engage followers. By contrast, these “idiosyncrasy credits” accrue from two major sources of follower perception: competence in the main group task, and living up to expectations for appropriate behavior as a sign of loyalty to the group. Once earned, credits may be drawn on to take needed initiatives, or may be lost for failing to do so, as well as for incompetence, abusive and self-serving behavior, and other signs of failure. The implications of the IC Model are presented in connection with relational features of leadership and how it can clarify the concept of “charisma,” as an example. Research findings about IC are briefly noted. Also, data from “critical incidents” gathered from hundreds of organizationally based respondents, relating their experiences with “good” or “bad” leadership, are reported. These data help to understand the relational features and consequences of these patterns, in connection with inclusive leadership or its absence.


The Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. Applied Research Award is named in honor of Walter F. Ulmer, Jr., retired president, for his contributions to CCL and the leadership field, to demonstrate CCL’s commitment to applied research, and to build connections with other professionals whose work and commitments are congruent with CCL’s. An internal committee (Dave Altman and John Ryan) determines the winner. He or she receives $1,500 and a trip to the Center to attend the Research Awards Event.