For over a century, scholars, psychologists and lifestyle gurus have sought to analyse the characteristics of a leader, how they can influence others and positively change an organization, for example. Meanwhile, few have explored how followers can act as partners, co- contributors and active persons in the leadership process.
In addition to being the first collective work of its kind, it offers historical perspectives and new conceptual frameworks to enhance leadership effectiveness and authentic followers. To gain a better understanding of why people follow, the chapters explain the psychological reasons for followership, how to follow, factors predicting capacity to switch between follower and leader roles and why organizations are now becoming more reliant on followers than in the past.
Laurent M. Lapierre, Editor and Professor of organizational behaviour and human resources management, said: “Followers are a vital part of leadership. Put simply, leaders would not exist without followers and in extreme situations organizations could even fail.
“Current literature on followership helps to broaden these early definitions by demonstrating that followers may also be proactive partners in the leadership process, and that these proactive forms of followership may advance organizational objectives” Chapter one, ‘Exploring the Historical Perspectives of Followership:
“Findings from the applied world suggest that followers high in both organizational knowledge and workplace engagement are more likely to exhibit authentic traits. Further, authentic followers can be divided into two categories: those who do not wish to assume formal leader roles, and those not yet chosen for formal leader roles.” Chapter two, ‘Exploring the “flipside”
“Subordinates defer to superiors out of obligation, followers choose to defer to a leader because they believe, based on their evaluation of dimensions such as the leader’s moral character, courage, effort, or ideas, that the leader’s direction is worthy of support.” Chapter five, ‘Comparing Followers and Subordinates: