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This article proposes a new model of heroism and heroic leadership that conceptualizes the exchange relationship between heroic leaders and the recipients of heroic action as dynamic and negotiated. Previous exchange models portraying heroic leadership exchange as static and passive are shown to be inadequate under conditions of major societal upheaval. Underlying the Dynamic Negotiated Exchange (DNE) model is the idea that equitable hero–recipient exchange during times of societal crises becomes strained and subject to negotiated revision. The terms of the negotiation are first manifest in media dialogue and then translate to individual or structural reforms offering more equitable exchange outcomes. To illustrate our model, we use examples from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which dynamic negotiated exchanges are demonstrated in phenomena such as the Great Resignation and the Great Upgrade.



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