Directors of the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership and SC&I faculty members Brent Ruben, Ph.D. and Ralph Gigliotti, Ph.D. ’17, have co-authored a new book on the topic of leadership and social influence. In the book “Leadership, Communication, and Social Influence: A Theory of Resonance, Activation, and Cultivation,” now available for purchase, Ruben and Gigliotti evaluate the ways in which the perspectives, messages, and behaviors of leaders and followers impact the responses and reactions of people around them in local and global groups, teams, organizations, and communities.
“The book explores connections between leadership and communication,” Ruben said. “We see communication as critical to understanding leadership in any number of respects. Blending these two areas provides an illuminating view of the dynamics of social influence, and helps to explain many of the contemporary leadership dynamics we observe nationally, and internationally.”
Ruben, executive director of the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership and Distinguished Professor of Communication at SC&I, said in this book he and Gigliotti, who is Director of Leadership Development and Research at the center and part-time faculty at SC&I, examine the critical and often overlooked roles of followers in the dynamics of social influence. “We use these ideas to analyze leadership situations in various settings—organizational, political, sports, religious, and so on. In our view, an understanding of the connections between leadership and communication help to explain current leadership phenomena, such as why it sometimes seems leaders are successful even though they may not apply concepts of popular leadership theories in their behavior.”
Gigliotti and Ruben explain that this is one of a number of collaborative projects, and together they are further advancing the work they have done on leadership and communication in the past.
At Rutgers, Gigliotti oversees a portfolio of faculty and staff leadership development initiatives and related research projects. Ruben was one of the founding faculty members of SC&I’s Department of Communication and he served as chair of the department for a number of years. He was also the first director of the integrated communication, information, and library science Ph.D. program.
Other recent collaborations between Gigliotti and Ruben include the book, Leadership: Communication and Social Influence in Personal and Professional Contexts, and two related articles, entitled “Leadership as social influence: An expanded view of leadership communication theory and practice” and “Communication: Sine qua non of organizational leadership theory and practice.”