Opposites attract: Leadership endorsement as a function of interaction between a leader and a foil

Johny T. Garner, Marshall Scott Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study focused on situations in which a leader gains a group's endorsement as leader in response to a “foil,” a central person in the group who is perceived to work against group goals. A field study of 3 Quality Improvement Teams revealed how endorsement of leadership occurred via a dialectical process in which the leader's interaction with the foil highlighted certain positive characteristics of the leader and certain counterproductive characteristics of the foil. Positive actions without the foil might have added to the leader's credit, but the same actions taken in the context of foiling the foil had added valence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-247
Number of pages21
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Bona Fide Groups
  • Dialectics
  • Endorsement
  • Leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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