Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology

When Near is Far and Far is Near: Distance in Leader-Follower Relationships

Saturday, March 6, 2010
8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Thank you for making this event a standing-room-only success!

A sold-out crowd gathered for this day-long conference on campus at Claremont Graduate University, to hear leadership experts from around the world, including one who conducted on-site experiments with the audience through a giant two-way web-conference interface!

Questions addressed at the conference included:

  • How far can a leader be from his or her followers and retain influence?
  • Does 21st century technology actually shrink the distance between leaders and followers, or just fool us into thinking so?
  • In what ways is the road to leadership still longer for women than for men—and where are the shortcuts?
  • What shrinks or widens the gap between a leader’s actions and how they are perceived?
  • How does leading vast group with many members differ from leading an intimate group? 

Leaders face new challenges as they cope with changes in culture, technology, and the workplace. The 2010 24th Annual Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology examined the breadth of these changes and what models might be adopted for effective leader-follower relations. This conference brought together some of the most widely-read scholars in the field of leadership studies. Scholars from three continents discussed the latest psychological research on interpersonal leader-follower relations. Our theme tackled the impact of distance—physical, interpersonal, and social—on our organizations, our governments, and our societies.

Speakers and Schedule

Abstracts may be viewed by clicking on the talk titles below. Selected talks are also available for viewing by clicking on the video icon () below.

8:30-9:00 am - Continental breakfast and check-in/registration



9:00-9:15 am

Joseph Hough, Interim President, Claremont Graduate University

Welcoming remarks



9:15-10:00 am

John Antonakis, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

"The Far Side of Leadership"
(Speaking remotely from Switzerland)

Click here to view streaming video of the talk.



10:00-10:45 am

Boas Shamir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"Distance from the Leader: Psychological and Follower-Centered Consideration"

Click here to view streaming video of the talk.

10:45-11:00 am - Break


11:00-11:45 am

Birgit Schyns, University of Portsmouth

"The Role of Distance in Leader-Member Exchange (LMX)"

Click here to view streaming video of the talk.

11:45 am-1:30 pm - Lunch Break.
Local area maps with suggestions of nearby restaurants will be made available.


1:30-2:15 pm

Surinder Kahai, Binghamton University

"Leading in a Digital Age: What's Different, Issues Raised, and What We Know"

Click here to view streaming video of the talk.



2:15-3:00 pm

Suzanne Weisband, University of Arizona

"Creating Awareness Among Followers of Leaders at a Distance"

3:00-3:15 pm - Break


3:15-4:00 pm

Alice Eagly, Northwestern University

"Women As Leaders: Negotiating the Labyrinth"

4:00-5:00 pm - Discussion Panel

5:00-6:00 pm - Wine and Cheese Reception with the Presenters

Conference Organizers

  Michelle Bligh, Claremont Graduate University


  Ronald Riggio, Director, Kravis Leadership Institute, Claremont McKenna College


For more information, e-mail Paul Thomas, Director of External Affairs for the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at or call (909) 607-9016.