Implicit theories play important roles in many areas of human life. In this review, we focus on implicit leadership and followership theories, i.e. implicit assumptions of (good) leaders and followers, respectively. We provide a framework for categorizing the existing research in this field. We use this framework to show the current state of research and to illustrate the gaps in the literature. More precisely, we review which types of prototypes of leaders and followers have been studied, the effects of comparisons between the actual leader (respectively follower) with these activated prototypes as well as the contextual factors that influence prototype activation and prototype fit. We conclude by outlining implications for human resource management and for future research, thereby focusing on research questions that can be used to integrate the distinct paths in implicit leadership and followership theories.
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