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General Blog Posts, Archives General Blog Posts, Archives




Welcome to the ILA's FOLLOWERSHIP COMMUNITY OF LEARNING where those with curiosity about followership and leader-follower relations can explore these subjects in whatever depth they choose through study groups, relevant news and events, research, shared projects and resource links. 


Feel free to contact Andrew Francis if you have a follower-focused article or reference that can be added to the site. We'd also love to receive a line or two about who you are, what you do professionally or academically, and the nature of your interest in followership and leader-follower relations.


Registered users can enter information directly and make collaborative decisions about what this site contains and how it functions. Anyone may browse but those who wish to participate by posting and editing information can sign up for a free, private account with a password. Please note that membership in the International Leadership Association (ILA) is encouraged, but not required, to participate in our learning community.


Learn more about ILA  Join ILA.


Sept 2016 - FOR YOUR INFORMATION, we are looking to undertake a major overhaul of the wiki with a view to making it more accessible and user-friendly - please watch this space!  Until we undertake the re-organisation, we will  add recently located articles relating to followership below:


2016 Followership articles:


NEW BOOK ON FOLLOWERSHIP: Koonce, R., Bligh, M. C., Carsten, M. K., & Hurwitz, M. (2016). Followership in action: Cases and commentaries. Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley: UK


Servant Leadership in Intercollegiate Athletics: Follower Perceptions of NCAA Division II Athletic Directors (THESIS)

by Johnson, Harlan L., Ph.D., NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY, 2016, 123 pages; 10112115


Cultural Influences on Followers and Follower Dissent (THESIS)

Blair, Barbara Ariel, Ph.D., THE CLAREMONT GRADUATE UNIVERSITY, 2016, 107 pages; 10142528


A Three Factor Model of Followership. Part 3. Research on Followership, A Three Factor Followereship Framework and Practical Implications.

T Manning, B Robertson, B Smith - Industrial and Commercial Training, 2016


A Three Factor Model of Followership, Part 2. Research on the three factor model and its application to Team roles

T Manning, B Robertson, B Smith - Industrial and Commercial Training, 2016


A Three Factor Model of Leadership. Part 1. Introduction to Followership, Leadership and the Three Factor Model of Leadership

T Manning, B Robertson, B Smith - Industrial and Commercial Training, 2016


Global Followership: The Launch of the Scholarly Journey

Y Tolstikov-Mast - Advances in Global Leadership, 2016, 107-150


Effective Followership Characteristics: Self-Regulation and Intercultural Communication Competence (THESIS)

CA Mellon - 2016


Influence of Leader Listening Competency on Follower Career Commitment and Leader-Follower Relationship in Public Education (THESIS)

SK Kimmel - 2016


Servant leadership, exemplary followership, and organizational trust: A quantitative correlational study in performing arts organizations (THESIS)

CD McAuley - 2016


What Does it Take to Break the Silence in Teams: Authentic Leadership and/or Proactive Followership?

H Guenter, B Schreurs, HIJ van Emmerik, S Sun - Applied Psychology, 2016


The Principle Analysis of Perception and Collaboration Between Leader and Follower in Leadership

MJ Ara, MB Shajahan, MM Hossain, A Al Amin


An investigation of destructive leadership in a Division I intercollegiate athletic department: Follower perceptions and reactions

S Powers, LW Judge, C Makela - International journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 2016


Narcissistic Reactions to Subordinate Role Assignment The Case of the Narcissistic Follower

AJ Benson, CH Jordan, AM Christie - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2016



Followership Styles and Job Satisfaction in Secondary School Teachers in Serbia


D Hinić, J Grubor, L Brulić - Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 2016




How leader and follower attachment styles are mediated by trust


PD Harms, Y Bai, GH Han - Human Relations, 2016


The neurobiology of groupthink: A qEEG approach to the study of followership


AA Deulen - 2016


Followership: a critical shortfall in health leadership


DA Spriggs - Internal Medicine Journal, 2016


What does it mean to follow? An exploration of a followership profile in hospitality and tourism


CS Deale, DG Schoffstall, EA Brown - Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 2016


A case study of women presidents of Texas private colleges and universities and their followership (THESIS)


SE Gregory - 2016























Hoption, C. (2014) Learning and Developing Followership. Journal of Leadership Education.




12/16/15 - New book on followership! http://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Followership-Followers-Organizational-Effectiveness/dp/1137356219/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416023836&sr=8-1&keywords=zoogah 



11/2/15 - CONGRATULATIONS TO IRA CHALEFF, winner of the USD Best Leadership Book Award!  Additionally, Ira was profiled in the New York Times: 



#Followership #IntelligentDisobedience #CourageousFollower




The Followership Learning Community of the International Leadership Association (ILA) had a significant presence at the Annual Conference in Barcelona, October 14 - 17, 2015. Let's start planning now for ILA Atlanta in 2016, including the Followership Symposium / Pre-Conference Event!





Chaleff, addressing the ethical failure of VW's emissions scandal http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/vws-culture-blind-obedience-what-went-wrong-and-how-fix-it 


Uhl-Bien, Riggio, Lowe & Carsten; Followership theory: A review and research agenda, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1048984313001227


Lauststen and Petersen, Does a competent leader make a good friend? Conflict, ideology and the psychologies of friendship and followership http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513815000021 


Junker & van Dick, Implicit theories in organizational settings: A systematic review and research agenda of implicit leadership and followership theories, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1048984314001039


McCallum - http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/followership-the-other-side-of-leadership/ 


Strong & Williams, Understanding Students as Followers: Discovering the Influence of Followership Style on Self-Directed Learning, http://www.jae-online.org/attachments/article/1826/2013-0841%20strong.pdf 


Chaleff, new book release: Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told to Do is Wrong.  Nearly every week we read about a tragedy or scandal that could have been prevented if individuals had said no to ill-advised or illegitimate orders.


LibGuide: Leading and Choreographing Change (multiple articles), http://libguides.library.qut.edu.au/LeadingChangeLeadershipandFollowership


Steffens, Schuh, Haslam, Perez & van Dick, ‘Of the group’ and ‘for the group’: How followership is shaped by leaders' prototypicality and group identification http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.2088/full 


NOTE ABOUT LINKS: Many of our links to urls have become obsolete since they were first published. Subscribers who discover revised information about digital locations and urls should either correct the links or notify us. In any case, we have tried to provide substantial bibliographical citations whenever possible!


Chaleff, speaking to Minnesota OD Network:   https://www.mnodn.org/event-registration/?ee=46



Van Brocklin, Val, in Cop Gumbo on Police One.com: Is 'great followership' the real secret to great leadership? June 19, 2013. Check out the lively discourse that follows this article! Well, read the article first... http://www.policeone.com/chiefs-sheriffs/articles/6283412-Is-great-followership-the-real-secret-to-great-leadership/?goback=.gde_1932453_member_253568836


Gibbons, Andrew and Danielle Bryant, "Followership: the forgotten part of doctors’ leadership," Oct, 19, 2012


Hurwitz, Marc and Samantha, "Creating Creative Leaders, " Flipskills.com. Sept. 2012 (pdf, halfway down blog page)

Suggestions for developing a creative team that acknowledge ways that followers can effectively support the process.


Barrett, Frank J. "What Business Leaders Can Learn from Jazz," CNN MONEY (Fortune). Sept. 10, 2012

Unlike business school, jazz shows us that following others is, in its own way, a higher form of leadership. Here's why companies should take note.



Chaleff, Ira "Avoid Fatal Crashes: Leaders and their Blindspots," Leadership Excellence, October, 2012

Pdf. Scroll to bottom part of page.


Thoroughgood, Christian N., Art Padillab, Samuel T. Hunter, Brian W. Tate "The susceptible circle: A taxonomy of followers associated with destructive leadership" Leadership Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 5 (October, 2012 pp. 897–917). Free Access to ILA members

While leadership scholars increasingly acknowledge the influence of followers in the leadership process, less attention has been paid to their role in the destructive leadership process. Specifically, the current debate lacks a broad-based understanding of different susceptible follower types that synthesizes related research across academic domains. Expanding on Padilla, Hogan, and Kaiser's (2007) toxic triangle model of destructive leadership, we integrate research and theory across various academic literatures to derive a cohesive taxonomy of vulnerable followers that we call the susceptible circle. We describe the core characteristics of each follower type, drawing on Barbuto's (2000) theory of follower compliance to highlight the psychological processes that motivate each follower to comply with destructive leaders. We then conclude by discussing theoretical and practical implications, as well as avenues for future research.



Exploring New ideas in the Relationships between Leaders and Followers from a Christian Worldview

October 5-6, 2012 (On the campus of Luther Rice University & Seminary)

For more information

The Leading/Following Forum offered scholars, students, and practitioners an opportunity to introduce and discuss new ideas in the fields of leading and following from a Christian worldview. The small forum structure provided an encouraging environment to the novice presenter or the seasoned scholar. Interaction, communication, and expanded the knowledge base regarding the biblical processes of leading and following.Dr. Gene Dixon, from East Carolina University, was the keynote speaker..





We in the Followership Learning Community are encouraged by the continuing stream of dissertations completed on aspects of Followership, thereby building our base of validated knowledge.


Adair, Rodger (2013). Northcentral University. Home Versus Work: Perceptual Effects of Life Threatening Illnesses on Leader/Follower Relationships  (Doctoral dissertation).       

This was a phenomenological study of how family stress was perceived within the workplace as explained through work-life studies.  In this study, the question was how does the presence of a significant emotional event within a follower’s family influence the leader/follower exchange relationship within the workplace?  The follower’s child had been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The problem identified was trauma that involved the life-threatening illness of a child that disrupted work-family balance and created a disruption in LMX relationships within the workplace.  From this phenomenological study emerged four invariant themes: a loss of trust, a new rapport, a change in support, and a shift in priorities.  Leaders need to effectively exhibit family supportive behaviors such as: emotional support, instrumental support, role modeling behaviors, and establish creative work-family management (Hammer et al., 2009).



Vondey, Michelle "Followership: How followers understand what it means to follow." Regent University: 2012

A follower-centered perspective on followership is missing in many discussions on leadership. This gap is unfortunate because only by understanding followers can researchers and practitioners fully address the leader–follower relationship. The purpose of this study is to give a voice to followers; allow them to describe what it means to be a follower; and, from their self-understanding, develop an accurate and clear definition of followership. Framing this research are (a) the self-concept, (b) identity theory, and (c) social identity theory. Because the overarching questions guiding this study represent a search for meaning (i.e., what a follower is and what followership is), a phenomenological approach was taken for collecting and analyzing data. Thirty-four working individuals in various industries were asked to share what it means to be a follower. This study used face-to-face and telephone interviews to explore how individuals experience followership. The results showed that about half the participants hold a follower self-concept. In addition, the follower self-concept was distinguishable at the individual, relational, and collective levels. Participants identified 21 behaviors and characteristics that could be considered prototypical of followers. Finally, this study offers a definition of followership from the follower’s perspective.

Muhlenbeck, Liz "Following After Hope: An Examination of the Relationship Between the Goal-Directed Affects of Hope and the Dimensions of Courageous Followership as Measured in the Healthcare Industry." Regent University: 2012

Followership is an emerging trend in the leadership literature. This study gives a general description of follower behaviors with a specific emphasis on courageous followership. Utilizing an online survey, this study collected data from professionals in the healthcare industry. A Pearson product-moment correlation analysis was conducted, which showed a positive and significant relationship between the five courageous follower behaviors of service, responsibility, challenge, transformation, and moral action, and the psychodynamic element of hope. Post hoc tests revealed that organizational level did have an impact on hope, most notably at the middle manager level. This study is the first of its kind to expand on the growing body of followership research while integrating aspects of positive psychology. The results of this study will be valuable in designing effective interventions where leader-follower relationships are challenged in the quest to achieve the organization's purpose.

Schindler, James "Followership as Perceived in the Hospitality Industry." Walden University, 2012 (pdf)

The problem addressed in this study is the lack of knowledge midlevel hospitality managers displayed concerning the importance of the followership traits that translate to good leadership skills.  The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the phenomenon of followership traits that translate to good leadership skills.  The central research questions were designed to explore the lived experiences and informed perceptions of midlevel managers in the hospitality industry regarding the followership traits that translate to leadership skills.  The lived experiences of midlevel hospitality managers relating to leadership and followership traits were the conceptual framework of the study. 


Havins, M. H. (2010). An examination of organizational levels and followership behaviors in law enforcement. (Doctor of Education, Northern Arizona University).


Fobbs, Terry "The Evaluation of a Paradigm: The Critical Examination of the Influence of Followership Styles and Courageous Follower Attributes on Hotel Customer-Contact Employee Job Satisfaction," Capella University, 2010


Jordan, James P. has completed his dissertation , An Investigation of Exemplary Acts of Followership: A Multiple Case Study Design (University of St. Thomas, 2009) and hopes to continue his research. If anyone has stories they think might fill the bill as examples of exemplary followership they should contact the author at: kahuna2@charter.net 



Powerful Video By Singapore Defense Force on Followership 


Over the last ten years there have been a number of indications that the ideas found in The Power of Followership and The Courageous Follower have found their way into the Singapore military. This video,which places the onus of ethical followership onto every member of the Defence Forces, is a milestone in the field of Followership. If every military around the world sensitized its soldiers to their responsibility not to follower illegal and inhumane orders, the world would be a different place. For an additional example of research from Singapore about followership and the military, see Elijah Xun Ming Wee's "Dynamic Followership" (2008).



Important Early Article on Followership Discovered And Available Here


"My co-administrator, Elisabeth Higgins Null, recently discovered the following major article on Followership published in 1982, even earlier than Robert Kelley's seminal Harvard Business Review article "In Praise of Followers" published in 1988. For anyone with a strong interest in Followership, I suggest that this is a "must read". In addition to early statements of principles found in my own book and elsewhere, there are some unique and even provocative insights that I have not seen stated in other works on the relations of leadership and followership. ~ Ira Chaleff


Heller, Trudy  and Jon Van Til "Leadership and Followership: Some Summary Propositions," Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 1982; 18; 405





Abby Yanow, an Organizational Development consultant and executive coach who taught "Facing History and Ourselves: the Holocaust and Human Behavior" at Tufts University, alerts  the Followership Learning Community to the work of Nehama Tec which highlights the traits of those who rescued Jews threatened by the Holocaust. Yanow summarizes six traits Tec identified as shared by altruistic, gentile rescuers:


Individuality or separateness, an inability to blend into their social environments;
Independence or self-reliance, a willingness to act in accordance with personal convictions, regardless of how these are viewed by others;
An enduring commitment to stand up for the helpless and needy reflected in a long history of doing good deeds;
A tendency to perceive aid to Jews in a matter-of-fact, unassuming way, as neither heroic nor extraordinary;
An unplanned, unpremeditated beginning of Jewish rescue, a beginning that happened gradually or suddenly, even impulsively
Universalistic perceptions of Jews that defined them, not as Jews, but as helpless beings and as totally dependent on the protection of others


It is  crucial that we understand more about what enables those who do not follow toxic leaders or destructive orders to take a stand. Relating this to Milgram’s work, we know that two thirds of people will follow the orders of authority even when they feel them to be destructive,  and they are not under duress to do so. There is an absence of data about what is different about the other third. Yet this is the most important aspect for us to understand if we are to encourage and develop those characteristics. This is so important that it would be worth trying to find who else is examining this aspect of followership behaviors and creating a working group around this topic. -- Ira Chaleff





Hurwitz, Marc & Hurwitz, Samantha    Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership and Collaboration  Rotman-University of Toronto Press, 2015

Can you imagine a choreographer training only one dancer to lead while his or her partner sits in the lobby staring at the wall? Unthinkable? Yet this happens all the time within organizations. Half the partnership is missing! Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership and Collaboration(University of Toronto Press, Rotman-UTP Publishing) is a category-busting book that “practically glows with energy and vision,“ (Marshall Goldsmith, bestselling author and top ranked executive coach). It seamlessly integrates leadership and followership for more productive, healthier collaborations.


Samantha Hurwitz is a leadership & followership coach, consultant, trainer and writer with 25 years corporate and entrepreneurial experience, including nine at the executive level: Controller of a $6/yr billion organization, IT Executive with $50 million project portfolio and Chair of a Strategic Talent Management Program.


Dr. Marc Hurwitz holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, an MBA, Masters in Physics and Math, and combines that with many years corporate, executive and entrepreneurial experience in diverse areas from Marketing to HR to Actuarial. He is on faculty at Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre at the University of Waterloo.




Amah, Peter SUPERSERVANT LEADER: Edeh Empowers a Generation of African Youth to Flip the Traditional Pyramid Structure. XLIBRIS (September 21, 2012) 


Dr. Peter O. Amah is a U.S.-ordained Catholic priest, a leadership consultant, a university instructor, and the founder of Spirit of Sharing Ministry, a nonprofit organization that supports rural community development, children’s education, community health projects, and disability care. Amah earned a PhD and two master’s degrees at Gonzaga University, Washington State; Catholic University of America, Washington DC; and Fordham University, New York. He is originally from Nigeria. To quote Shann Ray Ferch, PhD, Professor of Leadership, Gonzaga University: “In an elegant and evocative rendering of the life of one of the world’s great servant leaders, Edeh, Dr. Amah has given us a glimpse of global servant leadership and a true vision of the kind of leaders we need to help heal the heart of the world. Dr. Amah’s book is a resource with global implications and with the honesty and tenderness that move us forward as human beings and that restore us to the deepest and most vital expressions of our collective humanity."



Kellerman, Barbara  The End of Leadership HarperBusiness, 2012





Barbara Kellerman, the James MacGregor Burns lecturer in public leadership at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the author of Followership, and has published a new book, The End of Leadership. This provocative work examines the changing relationship of leaders and followers in today's world and argues that power is shifting, more and more, into the hands of followers.



Dineen, Tristan  Moral Followership and Modern Tyranny:  The Followers of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein
VDM Verlag Dr. Müller (2011-05-09)







This thesis is an investigation of the role of morality in motivating the followers of 20th century tyrannies. Karl Popper argued that what interested him about modern tyrants was that they all possessed huge followings of dedicated followers who ascribed to the tyrant's “moral message”. Like the dedicated followers of any cause they believed that what they were supporting was morally righteous. The focus of this study is the often neglected followers of two such 20th century tyrants – Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein – and why they came to view these “evil” men as the righteous saviours of their respective peoples and lands. Concluding that in circumstances where a segment of the human race becomes estranged, in moral terms, from the rest of humanity, it becomes perfectly normal for people to commit evil against those deemed to be “outsiders” in the name of good. Such alienated moral environments facilitate a moral faith in tyranny.


 “It is as important to study the dark side of followership as it is to study the dark side of leadership. While it is our hope that courageous followership corrects or disempowers destructive leadership, sometimes followership enables destructive leadership. The newly published book below appears to be investigating this dynamic. I hope it makes an important contribution to our understanding of the dark side of following.” Ira Chaleff


Collinson, David, Keith Grint, and Brad jackson Leadership  (4 volumes) Sage (Sage Library in Business and Management series): 2011 


One of the important contributors to the book “The Art of Followership”, David Collinson of Lancashire University, has co-edited an important new four volume series on leadership that embraces the leader-follower relations. He describes the project as: “A move away from the early focus almost exclusively on leaders themselves – their particular styles, qualities and contributions – towards seeing leadership in terms of the dynamic relationship between leaders and followers.”


Mercer, Don with contributions by Carlos Fontana Follow to Lead, The 7 Principles to being a Great Follower. Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 2011



" 'Follow to Lead' shows that the key to becoming a great leader is by first becoming a great follower. Mastering the 7 Principles to become a great follower is easy. The book simplifies and condenses volumes of study into a brief, tangible format." Adrian Johnson, Kalamazoo Gazette


"Imaginative people are the life-blood of the organization. Some have the gift of strategic vision which will serve the organization well as it looks to the future. Some have the gift to see a better way of accomplishing a single task. Still others have the gift to implement the vision. The key for an organizational team is to integrate the individual members' gifts." -- Don Mercer


Hollander, Edwin P. Inclusive Leadership: The Essential Leader-Follower Relationship Routledge Academic, 2008



Inclusive Leadership is a process of active followership emphasizing follower needs and expectations, with the guiding principle of "Doing things with people, not to people," in a two-way influence relationship. While the author focuses on leadership side of leader- follower relations, this book presents many topics and insights of interest to followers,


Ricketson, Rusty Follower First: Rethinking Leading In the Church. Heartworks Publications, 2010



" Follower First explores the most serious lay literature on follower-leader relations and examines its application in a profoundly Christian context. Professor Ricketson adds significant spiritual insights to these models and offers corollaries for practice of the leader and follower roles within committed Christian communities. Undoubtedly, people of faith will be touched by the wisdom and at least some will be called to engage in deep personal and communal transformation." — Ira Chaleff


Follower First is available through its publisher: http://www.heartworkspublications.com


Chaleff Ira The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To & For Our Leaders


In conjunction with the Third Edition of The Courageous Follower, Ira Chaleff is now offering an online, reflective self-assessment test for personal and professional growth and development. It is now available online from Berrett-Koehler’s website.


Also: Announcing an updated 3rd Edition by Ira Chaleff:





The updated third edition of Ira Chaleff's classic text on Followership, The Courageous Follower (Berrett Koehler: 1995, 2003, 2009) includes a new chapter, “The Courage to Speak to the Hierarchy.” Much of Chaleff’s model is based on followers having access to the leader. But today, followers can be handed questionable policies and orders that come from many levels above them—even from the other side of the world. Chaleff explores how they can respond effectively, particularly using the power now available through advances in communications technology. The book is available at Amazon in print and for Kindle. It can also be ordered in print or as an e-book directly through the publisher, Berrett-Koehler.







Kellerman, Barbara  The End of Leadership HarperBusiness, 2012 

Barbara Kellerman, who teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and is the author Followership, has published a new book, The End of
Leadership. This provocative work examines the changing relationship of leaders and followers in today's world.


Rich, Theresa Staying Sane In Crazy Times2010

This book is  it's written squarely for the "little guy" who keeps the organization and its life running.  It serves as a helpful resource in tough business climates for those working down in the ranks on how to keep up their spirit and contribute to collectively making it through.  Rich did her dissertation on followership so her worldview is informed by that-- Ira Chaleff



Doty, Elizabeth  The Compromise Trap: How to Thrive at Work Without Sellong Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, 2009). While this book is not about followership per se, it teems with advice that those playing a follower role may find particularly useful.



Robert M. Wachter and Kaveh Shojania's Internal Bleeding:The Truth Behind America's Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes

(Rugged Land, 2005) looks at the failures of communication under pressure within today's hospitals, where a small mistake can result in death or serious injury. What makes this book valuable to those in both leader and follower roles, particularly in the health field, is its weath of suggestions for improving the flow of information and procedures. The authors, both medical doctors, have written a book as compelling as a novel. As such, it can be read and understood by general readers.--Elisabeth Higgins Null


Annotated List of Articles on Followership for Government Workers

GovLeaders.org is a site founded in 2002 by Don Jacobson, a career Foreign Service Officer, and is designed for government workers. It recommends key articles on followership for those working in government positions. The recommendations are annotated and are supplemented by more annotated lists, in a sidebar, of books on leader-follower relations that should interest  civil servants. 



                                                  RECENT BLOGS              


For earlier blog postings, consult "Blog Postings" in the `Sidebar or more specialized folders. For brand new articles and blogs  go towards top of this page.


Bruce E. Winston,  Leader-Follower Style Alignment: A Key to Organizational Success Dec, 2014


Gibbons, Andrew and Danielle Bryant, "Followership: the forgotten part of doctors’ leadership," Oct, 19, 2012


Hurwitz, Marc and Samantha, "Creating Creative Leaders, " Flipskills.com. Sept. 2012 (pdf, halfway down blog page)

Suggestions for developing a creative team that acknowledge ways that followers can effectively support the process.


Barrett, Frank J. "What Business Leaders Can Learn from Jazz," CNN MONEY (Fortune). Sept. 10, 2012

Unlike business school, jazz shows us that following others is, in its own way, a higher form of leadership. Here's why companies should take note.


Fine, Allison, "Free Agents and Followership," The Forum Society For International Development, n.d.  

Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are fundamentally reshaping protests and protesters. They are pointillist paintings, with thousands of individuals doing small bits that add up to a whole visible only from a distance. There are no Nelson Mandalas or Lech Walesas speaking on behalf of protestors. However, social networks aren’t leaderless, as critics say, but leader-full with individuals defining their own roles, uploading videos, posting news without being asked or tasked or targeted. There are no party platforms or constitutions, no press releases and pension funds, none of the suffocating trappings of modern organizational life to slow down and suffocate a movement. There are just free agents sharing their own stories and connecting with one another.


Kellerman, Barbara "Forgotten, Fed-Up Follower," Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership August 24, 2012



Chaleff, Ira"Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games: A Balance in Leading and Following," July 28, 2012 

Hunter,  Col. Sharon M, 97th Medical Group commander. "Effective followership: The key to being a great leader,"  Inside Altus (Altus Airforce Base) 07//2012


Okantey, Peter Carlos "Mentoring and Discipling in the Leader/Follower Relationship," The Okantey Group Inc.; Naa Amerley Palm Education (NAPE) Foundation, April 30, 2012

This article focuses on the benefits of mentoring and more specifically, e-mentoring versus discipling. In a mentoring relationship, the mentor seeks to assist the mentee to achieve individual goals and realize professional dreams and visions, while a leader in a discipling relationship seeks to assimilate the disciple to become just like the leader. A discipling relationship lacks development beyond the leaders’ capacity. A mentoring relationship stimulates growth and enhances individuality on the part of the mentee. For today’s ever changing global world and economy, along with technological advances, e-mentoring provides mentoring in a less complicated, but highly effective manner.

Chow, Wilfred  "Corporate cultures: Why financial institutions benefit from employee openness:Developing a culture of effective and engaged followership can prevent financial sector scandals" Ethical Corporation June 29, 2012




Hurwitz, Marc "What's Missing From Your Leadership Development Program: Followership!" (webinar) ASTD, July 3, 2012, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT (upcoming). You have a leadership development program because training leaders makes organizations work better; strong, competent leadership is a key to why companies flourish. To keep the leadership pipeline flowing, you look to recruit and retain the best leaders, and develop a robust internal talent pipeline: your farm team. So why do companies lose many of their highest potential and most promising leaders? What is the number one reason new executives fail? Why is 2-way communication only half the story? What crucial ability underpins employee effectiveness? How can executives coach and mentor this ability? And what can you do to significantly improve your leadership training tomorrow? The answer to all these questions is followership. This thought-provoking webinar is based on eight years research and experience bringing followership into organizations across North America. We will explore the role of followership in leadership, its role in organizational success, its role in personal success, how followership is critical to role clarity and engagement, and what it means for communications.


Silverman, Rachel Emma "Who's The Boss: There Isn't One," Wall Street Journal (Careers), June 19,2012

This brings to mind the work (culture) we were doing at DuPont 20-25 years ago.  Efforts there were an off shoot of Charles Krone's discourses.  We called it "Krone technology".  W. L. Gore has been a poster child for this sort of work culture since its inception.   I talked to a colleague last week who did the same thing at Proctor and Gamble about the same time.  For more (cerebral) information see Carol Sanford's "A Theory and Practice System of 'Systems Thinking': With an Executive’s Story of the Power of 'Developmental' and 'Evolutionary' Systems Thinking: 2004 (.pdf)

--Gene Dixon

Chaleff, Ira "Followership In The New York Times," Courageous Followership Blog,  June 13, 2012

A discussion of David Brooks's column, "The Followership Problem," NY Times, June 11, 2012 (see link under articles, below)


Kellerman, Barbara "Lame Leaders, Fed Up Followers," A new blog whose most recent posts shed light on followers who stand up to excesses of authority and poorly or problematically exercised power.


 Brooks, David "The Follower Problem," The New York Times, June 11, 2012

"Democratic followership is also built on a series of paradoxes: that we are all created equal but that we also elevate those who are extraordinary; that we choose our leaders but also have to defer to them and trust their discretion; that we’re proud individuals but only really thrive as a group, organized and led by just authority."


Ozga, Kasia "Trusting Authority: Then and Now" and letters by other authors to The New York Times on the above article by David Brooks. The New York Times, June 14, 2012



Fobbs, Colonel (Ret) Terry "Battlefield HR-Watership Down: What Rabbits Can Teach Organizations about Followership and Leadership," HR-C Suite  May 21, 2012


Heskett, James "Can the 'Leadership Industry' Fulfill It's Promise?" Working Knowledge, May 2, 2012

This blog discusses Barbara Kellerman's new book, The End of Leadership.


Hauck, Phil "Harvard's Kellerman: It's Followership, Not Leadership!" Phil Hauck's TEC  Blog,  April 28, 2012


Nielsen, Todd Followership: the Corollary to Leadership, A Slice of Leadership, March 20


CW4 Paul Dannar, US-A - "Mentorship/Discipleship in the Leader/Follower Relationship,"  Views of Leadership Part 1, NATO: Allied Command Operations, n.d. 


Hurwitz, Samantha "Going up? Why Two-Way Communication is Only Half Right," Flipskills: Fliptips ( March, 2012-- scroll down)


"In any partnership - leader-follower, peer-peer, business partners, spouses, etc. - each partner is accountable for initiating communications and responding to the other person's communications through active listening and feedback. In other words, each partner has two distinct communication roles: two partners with two roles each = four-way communication.  It takes deliberate effort and continual development by both partners to make a dialog four-way, but the payoff is tremendous. "


Short, Lt. Col. David. 51st Maintenance Squadron commander, "Followership ...The Other Art of Leadership," Pacific Air Forces (3/18/2012)


Marquet, David "Do this! Don’t do this. How to transition from leader-follower to leader-leader," Leader-Leader: The Movement March 8,2012


The author, David Marquet, says this about himself and his movement:

"The leader-leader movement was started by former nuclear submarine commander David Marquet after he saw first-hand the debilitating effects of leader-follower, the limitations of empowerment programs, and the liberating power of treating everyone as leaders."

Tulgan, Bruce "When You Need to Be a Strong Follower, Look for the Source of the Leader’s Authority," It's Okay To Be the Boss, March 1, 2012

Tulgan, Bruce  "Sometimes Leadership-Followership in a Given Situation is Not Settled" It's Okay To Be the Boss, February 28, 2012

Tulgan, Bruce "What If You Feel Like a  Free Agent Instead of a Leader or Follower?",  It's Okay To Be the Boss. February 23, 2012


Hertig, John "The Leader's Guide to Followership," CMSA Blog (Center for Medication Safety Advancment, Purdue University) 02/01/20

Hertig presents a list of useful traits for those who work at improving  the safety of medication delivery and expands upon the work of 
Robert Kelley, citing his Harvard Business School article, "In Praise of Followers (1988).


Sharen, Colleen "Mental Models of Followership,"  Thinking Is Hard Work, January 16, 2012


Chaleff, Ira "Thoughts On Followership for 2012", Courageous Followership Blog, January 2012


Chaleff, Ira Would people choose to follow me?” Courageous Followership Blog," December 2nd, 2011 


Purdue, Lt. Col. Jarrett (86th Civil Engineering Squadron) " The Art of Followership," Ramstein Airforce Base, 12/7/2011 

This  commentary discusses the importance of exercising initiative when playing the role of follower and makes reference to an 1994 article, "The Ten Rules of Good Followership" by Col. Phillip Meilinger, published in Military Journal. 


Chaleff, Ira "Courageous Followership and Horizontal Organizations," Courageous Followership Blog,  November 10, 2011




For earlier articles, consult "Articles and Books" in Sidebar or more specialized folders




This website appears to be a web aggregator of articles about followership and leader-follower relations from online journals, conference sites, and collections of proposals and working papers. It mechanically incorporates the results of a .pdf search engine called: PDF Queen.  Most of the articles are available as full text if you go to the original sources. If you simply open them as .pdf files, they will not provide full citations unless these have been listed on their title page. There is an enoromous range of material from abroad as well as from the United States.  I have added a few articles and their abstrancts here, more or less at random. but strongly recommend going to this site directly and consulting it for research purposes-- Elisabeth Higgins Null


Newly revised and updated bibliography of followership compled by the bibliographic staff of  the  S. Fairchild Research Information Center at Maxwell Airfoce Base. Many online resources.



Chaleff, Ira "Avoid Fatal Crashes: Leaders and their Blindspots," Leadership Excellence, October, 2012

Pdf. Scroll to bottom part of page.


Thoroughgood, Christian N., Art Padillab, Samuel T. Hunter, Brian W. Tate "The susceptible circle: A taxonomy of followers associated with destructive leadership" Leadership Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 5 (October, 2012 pp. 897–917). Free Access to ILA members

While leadership scholars increasingly acknowledge the influence of followers in the leadership process, less attention has been paid to their role in the destructive leadership process. Specifically, the current debate lacks a broad-based understanding of different susceptible follower types that synthesizes related research across academic domains. Expanding on Padilla, Hogan, and Kaiser's (2007) toxic triangle model of destructive leadership, we integrate research and theory across various academic literatures to derive a cohesive taxonomy of vulnerable followers that we call the susceptible circle. We describe the core characteristics of each follower type, drawing on Barbuto's (2000) theory of follower compliance to highlight the psychological processes that motivate each follower to comply with destructive leaders. We then conclude by discussing theoretical and practical implications, as well as avenues for future research.


Lord, R. G. , Brown, D. J., & Freiberg, S. J. (1999). "Understanding the dynamics of leadership:The role of follower self-concepts in the leader/follower relationship." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 78, 167-203.


Shondrick, Sara J.  and Robert G. Lord "Implicit leadership and followership theories: Dynamic structures for leadership perceptions, memory, and leader follower processes."   International review of industrial and organizational psychology vol 25 (2010)

 "In this review, we address implicit leadership theories (ILTs) and implicit followership theories (IFTs). Both types of implicit theories are important because leadership and followership are dynamic, socially constructed processes (Meindl, 1995) in which a leader's perceptions of followers are as critical as followers' perceptions of leadership. Both types of perceptions elicit confirming responses from the person being perceived, helping to create a dynamic leadership process in which relatively stable social structures emerge over time as leader and follower roles become differentiated. ILTs (and IFTs), which are a fundamental part of this process, are also dynamic in that they can be tuned automatically to particular contexts (Lord, Brown, and Harvey, 2001). In this dynamic process, both parties use their implicit theories to make sense of and react to the other party's behavior, creating an evolving basis for further interaction. In this sense, leadership is an ongoing, dynamic, two-way exchange between leaders and followers that is structured by both parties' implicit theories. ... Within this chapter, we discuss three broad areas of research that emphasize perceptual processes that are central to this dynamic leadership process. First, we consider research on the social construction of leadership and followership, specifically focusing on how dynamic leadership-oriented schemas influence both cognition and action. Next, we review research on behavioral measurement and sensemaking, highlighting how followers' cognitive and emotional processes color their interpretation and ratings of leadership behavior. Finally, we conclude by taking a closer look at perceptual and memory processes and the nature of knowledge while developing a more integrative perspective. Thus, one major contribution of our review is to provide an integrated theoretical perspective in which both leadership and followership can be understood by incorporating the cognitive and affective structures that guide the perceptions and reactions of both leaders and followers. This approach facilitates our understanding of the follower's role in leadership processes because we can generalize many of the findings derived from the extensive research on follower's perceptions of leaders to our emerging understanding of how followers are perceived."


Agho, Augustine O.. " Perspectives of Senior-Level Executives on Effective Followership and Leadership. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, vol 16, no.2. Nov. 2009

Using a three-page questionnaire administered to a sample of 302 senior-level executives, this study examined the perceptions of executives on the distinguishing characteristics of effective leaders and followers. Most of the characteristics associated with effective leaders were perceived to be different from those associated with effective followers. A significant number of the respondents agreed that (a) leadership and followership are interrelated roles; (b) leadership and followership skills have to be learned; (c) effective leaders and effective followers can influence work performance, quality of work output, satisfaction and morale, and cohesiveness of work groups; and (d) researchers have not devoted enough attention to the study of followership.



Okantey, Peter Carlos "Mentoring and Discipling in the Leader/Follower Relationship," The Okantey Group Inc.; Naa Amerley Palm Education (NAPE) Foundation, 2012

This article focuses on the benefits of mentoring and more specifically, e-mentoring versus discipling. In a mentoring relationship, the mentor seeks to assist the mentee to achieve individual goals and realize professional dreams and visions, while a leader in a discipling relationship seeks to assimilate the disciple to become just like the leader. A discipling relationship lacks development beyond the leaders’ capacity. A mentoring relationship stimulates growth and enhances individuality on the part of the mentee. For today’s ever changing global world and economy, along with technological advances, e-mentoring provides mentoring in a less complicated, but highly effective manner.


Chang, I-Wen "Leader Follower: Throwing Out Gender Roles in Taiwanese Salsa Today," Thinking Gender Papers, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, UC Los Angeles (04/18/2012)

Salsa is a transnational and transcultural dance form that has traveled from the Americas to many other countries where it has taken on diverse meanings among its participants. In the past five years, it has become a craze among young professionals in Taiwan. In this paper, I argue that the notion of "flow" in salsa practice, the Confucian discipline of the female body, and the economic accessibility of salsa in Taiwan are contextual elements without which it is impossible to situate its social meaning. In the Taiwanese salsa scene, not only do female salsa practitioners gain agency and assert their power to challenge traditional values, but male salsa practitioners also find a space to perform femininity and to enjoy their embodiment of the female role.  
There are two imperatives for this study: 1) to subvert the dominant notion in academia about the immobile gender rules at play in salsa; 2) to illustrate the diversity of salsa practices around the world using Taiwan as a case study where it has not yet been discussed in the growing scholarship on Asian performance.



Robinson, Anthony B. "How to follow the leader:Five habits of healthy congregations." Christian Century. Jan 05, 2012

". . . leadership is not mainly an office, title or position; it is a function, and it can be a dangerous one...  You may have a passionate conviction about a project or the future and want people to share it, but when you tell them something they don't want to hear but need to hear, they may see only what they have to lose and not what they stand to gain. Leadership is necessary for the health and vitality of congregations, and it is tough, challenging work. A leader can't do this work unless there are followers who respond to the leadership and are willing to take some risks."


Potter lll, Earl H., William E. Rosenbach, and Thane S. Pittman  "Followers For The Times: Engaging Employees In A WInning Partnership." Contemporary Issues In Leadership, 5 th Ed, Rosenbach, W.E. & Taylor, R.L., Westview Press, 2001

"In many effective organizations, the relationship between a leader and her or his followers is best described as a partnership in which the initiatives of followers are just as important as those of their leaders. Partnership is not essential in all circumstances; but, where market demands are greatest and results are created or improved through the intellectual efforts of employees, followers must be partners. Two elements of organizational culture are important in developing partnership. The first is the drive for performance and the second is a commitment to effective relationships."



McElroy, Molly "Risking one's neck for better grog: Mutinies reveal tipping points for collective unrest," UW Today, May, 2012

This is a press release from the University of Washington that talks about the research of sociologists Steven Plaff and Michael Hechter, who have studied British Royal Navy records  (1740-1820) to see what sort of treatment moved sailors from putting up with tough conditions to actually revolting against conditions they considered unbearable. 


Schaubroeck, John M. and  Ping Shao "The role of attribution in how followers respond to the emotional expression of male and female leaders "  The Leadership Quarterly,Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages 27-42  Freely accassible to members of the International leadership Association


Author's abstract:

We investigated how leaders' gender interacts with anger and sadness expression and followers' attributions for their emotional expression on evaluations made by followers. In a laboratory study concerning hypothetical leaders, people evaluated the competence of male and female leaders differently depending on their emotional displays (anger vs. sadness). These differences were observed only when observers made high dispositional attributions for leaders' emotional expression. Perceived leader role-based emotional expression mediated these relationships. In a field study concerning actual leaders, dispositional attributions for sadness and anger expression were negatively related to follower perceptions of the leader, and these attributions moderated the relationships between leader gender and various follower perceptions of the leader. Leader prototype fit mediated these relationships. We discuss the implications of these findings for leadership research and practice.


Guillén, Laura and Natalia Karelaia "When opposites hurt: Similarity in control in leader-follower dyads as a predictor of job performance evaluations," ESMT European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Research Working Papers, no. ESMT-11-12), 2011 [download]

Control-related behaviors are an important attribute in leadership jobs, but do leaders appreciate being surrounded by followers with controlling personalities? Building on the self-enhancement and self-efficacy theories, we propose that leaders with high self-assessed control give better performance evaluations to subordinates who are also high in control. In contrast, leaders with low self-assessed control are quite reserved about the performance of subordinates high in control. We also propose that overall, leaders high in control evaluate more positively their followers’ performance than leaders low in control. We suggest that this difference is magnified if the leader-follower dyad is inconsistent with social norms related to age and hierarchical level. The results obtained by using polynomial regression and response surface techniques to analyze a sample of 138 leader-follower dyads supported our hypotheses showing a bias rooted in leaders’ self-assessed control. We conclude by deriving the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.


Meilinger Col. Phillip, "The Ten Rules of Good Followership," Military Journal, 1994 (republished online in AU-24 Concepts for Air Force Leadership in "Section 2 Responsibility, Ethics, Values, and the Code of Conduct")

An early article on traits associated with good followership practice.



Ba Banutu-Gomez. Michael "Great Leaders Teach Exemplary Followership and Serve As Servant Leader," Journal of American Academy of Business, Volume: 4, Issue: 1/2, 2004


Hotep, Uhuru "African Centered Leadership-Followership: Foundational Principles, Precepts, and Essential Practices,' The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.3, no.6, March 2010

This paper examines the four cornerstones of African centered leadership-followership (ACL-F), an ethnic group specific approach to leadership devised for African people in 2000 at the Kwame Ture Leadership Institute by Dr. Uhuru Hotep. ACL-F  in the American context seeks to restore Black sovereignty in political, economic and cultural terms by incorporating African American and classical African socio-political ideals, values, practices and institutions. Finding inspiration and example in the village building traditions of the Maroons and the Exodusters, ACL-F seeks the restoration of sovereignty and Maat thru the installation of Sankofa and the Johari Sita in African American affairs. As a synthesizing project, ACL-F draws from both the W.E.B. DuBois (DuBoisian) and the Booker T. Washington (Washingtonian) schools of leadership.


Abbott, Geoffrey, "So Satisfying: Leading from the Middle in the Coast Guard" Fall 2011

Article shows that show that empowered and proactive innovators, not only can significantly improve organizational performance, but are “jazzed” about their work and have much higher job satisfaction than their peers.


Curphy, Gordon and MarK Roellig "Followership" (n.d. available as a  pdf download at the following website:


Further discussion of this  model can be found in Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience (7th ed.), co-authored by Gordon Curphy.


Suderman, Jeff  "The Umwelt of Followership," Strategic Leadership Review (09/26/2011), Download as .pdf

 By definition followers must be involved in order for the act of leadership to occur. In fact, “leaders can only lead when enabled by followers to do so”. Despite the importance of the role of followers, much more attention has been given to the study of leadership than followership. This article examines several different views of followers. Through the use of the lens of Umwelt, how environments are seen and understood idiosyncratically by different people, I will examine four different perspectives of followership; positional, power-based, situational and as partners. The context provided in each of these four areas will provide readers with a means to assess and identify unique views of followership and understand their practice and implications


Smith,  Maj. Gen. Perry "Strong leadership isn't everything -- also learn the art of 'followership'. "  Augusta Chronicle, 09/04/11


MacNeill, Neil and Stefan Silcox " Followership: Breeding out the wild genes of creativity, risk taking and entrepreneurialism in the Australian systemic principalship. " Perspectives on Educational Leadership (5). 2011

With the development of tighter controls on school decision making through a centralised curriculum, accompanied by the ongoing threats of a punitive accountability regime, the traits of creativity, risk taking and entrepreneurialism, evident and encouraged in the school leaders in the past, have been devalued by successive systemic administrations that value compliance over entrepreneurial leadership. A subtle program of eugenics is exorcising leadership, as the faceless bureaucrats reassert control in schools. As a result among school principals there is a developing fear of freedom.


Ayers, Keith  E. ""A Culture of Proactive Employees Will Let the Boss Know if His Fly Is Unzipped," Workforce Management Online, August 2011 Free subscription may be required.



Ward, Peter, Neil Lundberg, Gary Ellis, Kristen Berrett "Adolescent Peer Followership: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective," Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, Vol. 28, No. 2, (2010) 

Many adolescents voluntarily follow peer leaders who influence them to engage in antisocial and unhealthy behavior such as illegal acts and substance abuse. If professionals understood the adolescent followership phenomenon, they would be able to focus energy toward youth who are likely candidates to be peer leaders. Self-determination theory suggests adolescents are more likely to follow peer leaders who afford them autonomy to choose, an avenue for relatedness with the leader and other members of their group, and a sense of competence for the task they are doing. 


Valcea, Sorin, Maria Riaz Hamdani, M. Ronald Buckley, Milorad M. Novicevic, "Exploring the developmental potential of leader–follower interactions: A constructive-developmental approach." The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 22, Iss. 4, 2011, pp. 604-615


Corrothers, Eve M. Major, USAF "SAY NO TO “YES MEN”: FOLLOWERSHIP IN THE MODERN MILITARY," Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Airforce Base, 2009 

. . ."in the military, even when in leadership positions, we are all followers. As such, leaders must not forget about using the characteristics and skills they learned as good followers. Followership may not be seen as glamorous – kids want to grow up to be the president, not a member of the presidential staff. This work hopes to convey how much Air Force officers can benefit as leaders from developing and improving followership skills throughout the span of their military careers." 


Chaleff, Ira  "Should We Stand Up For or To Our Leaders?," Leadership Excellence April, 2011 [2nd page of .pdf]

Article discusses the etiquette of physically standing up when a leader's presence demands that sort of deference. What is important, the author asserts. are the feelings and motives  behind such an action and how that action ratifies or amplifies a leader's sense of power.


Sanaghan, Patrick  "Bad Advice," Inside Higher Ed, April 27 2011

Although this article describes the problems faced by college presidents when they do not receive good advice, it is applicable to many hierarchical situations. The author underscores why advice from followers is critical to a chief administrator's well being and how to  facilitate an atmosphere in which good, candid advice is forthcoming. [Download article after clicking]


Goldman, Neil "Why 'Followership' Is Critical To Much More Effective Leadership," Credit Union Journal, April 4, 2011 (subscription, free two-week trial)


Hurwitz, Marc "Followership: A 2008 White Paper." An unpublished  review of recent literature on followership complete with bibliography (pdf).


Stanberry Joanna  "Rethinking Organizational Followership: The Impact of the BBC Prison Study," February 23, 2009 (unpublished)


Mellan, Olivia, "Speaking Truth to Power: How Followers Really Lead," Investment Advisor, March 1, 2011

This is an interview with Ira Chaleff about aspects of his book,  The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders, that can benefit financial advisers and their organizations. 


Smith, Glenford, "How To Be A Great Follower," The Gleaner, February 27, 2011
""I'm pleased to see a serious article on followership being carried by one of Jamaica's leading newspapers"-- Ira Chaleff


Zhen Zhang, Mo Wang, Junqi Shi, "Leader-Follower Congruence  in Proactive Personality and Work Outcomes: The Mediating Role of LMX,"  The Academy of Management Journal, 2011 (forthcoming)

 Drawing upon proactive personality and person-environment fit literatures, we examine the congruence effect of leader’s and follower’s proactive personality on leader-member exchange (LMX) quality, which in turn influences follower’s job satisfaction, affective commitment, and job performance. Results of cross-level polynomial regressions on 165 dyads supported the congruence effect hypothesis. Further, asymmetrical incongruence effects were found such that followers had lower-quality LMX and poorer work outcomes when their proactive personality was lower than the leader’s as compared with when their proactive personality was higher. These findings highlight the pivotal role played by leaders in promoting employee proactivity at work.  


Reinfeld, Hesh "Too Many Leaders," n.d.

"I'm willing to pay for quality followers. I am even willing to pay an extra premium to find them. However, business-school faculty, who are pretending everyone will be able to be a leader, are undermining my efforts." 


Arat, Melih "The Leaders Without Followers," Today's Zamat, 12/05/10 Columnist for English-language Turkish daily newspaper writes review of Barbara Kellerman's Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders.”


Ye, Yan "FACTORS RELATING TO TEACHERS’ FOLLOWERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES IN THAILAND ," Graduate School of Education, Assumption University of Thailand, 200 9. [.pdf]

This study was conducted to identify teachers’ followership styles; to identify the factors affecting teachers’ followership based on literature and expert interviews; to determine factors including Professionalism, Emotional Characteristics, Teamwork Attitudes, Department Climate, Satisfaction, Leadership Styles, and Teachers’ Development; and to determine the effects of  these factors on teachers’ followership in international universities in Thailand. The examined population comprised 365 randomly selected instructors from the sample universities.


Gillis, Richard "Stuck In A Time Warp," Irish Times, 11/26/2010
This articles expands upon an earlier book review  ( posted on this wiki) of Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja's Selected: Why some people lead, why others follow, and why it matters. According to Gillis, the book posits that " while nobody wants workplaces to become havens of primitivism, we do seem happiest when our working environments echo facets of ancestral tribal life. So we enjoy a close-knit structure governed loosely by trusted elders in which every member is valued for his or her unique contribution to group living. That is why a high number of us crave more intimacy in the way we interact with our co-workers, bosses and civic leaders."  Gillis discusses “evolutionary leadership theory," as expounded by Selected. 
Michel, John "Kellerman Talks on Followers, Leaders," The Dartmouth, 11/11/2010
This college news article discusses a recent lecture by Barbara Kellerman, “‘Shooting an Elephant,’ or Why Be Leadership Literat?." Kellerman emphasizies the inter-relationships between leaders and followers and talks about the real dangers posed by bad followers: She asserts that bad followers can be just as destructive as bad leaders and advocates that leadership skills must be learned differently in a global environment.


Majundar, Somun  and Sharun Mukand "The Leader as Catalyst – on Leadership and the Mechanics of Institutional Change" 

(CESifo Working Paper No. 2337, June 2008, pdf download available)


Individual leaders have been central to the transformation of political institutions, organizations and many instances of social and economic reform. Why are some leaders able to take advantage of opportunities to successfully catalyze large-scale change while others fail? In this paper we argue that the key to understanding a leader’s effectiveness lies in dissecting the symbiotic nature of the leader-follower relationship. While the expected dynamism of a leader attracts followers, at the same time, followers empower the leader and contribute to his dynamism. This two-way leader-follower interaction can endogenously give rise to threshold effects: ‘small’ differences in leader ability can have a large impact on the degree of effective leadership and dramatically alter the prospects for change. The framework also naturally allows us to explore when individuals may deliberately prefer to follow an ambitious leader with very different preferences rather than a leader with more congruent preferences. Moreover, by empowering the self-interested ambitious leader, such followership may make him a more effective agent of (both good and bad) change.


 Neal, Bruno "Heroes and Sidekicks: Ensuring Proper Followership," T+D, September, 2010 (pdf)


van Gils, Suzanne; Niels van Quaquebeke; Daan van Knippenberg "The X-factor: On the relevance of implicit leadership and followership theories for leader–member exchange agreement," European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 1464-0643, Volume 19, Issue 3, First published 2010, Pages 333 – 363

Although leader–member exchange (LMX) research shows that leaders engage in different kinds of relationships with different followers, it remains somewhat of an enigma why one and the same relationship is often rated differently by a leader and the respective follower. We seek to fill that conceptual void by explaining when and why such LMX disagreement is likely to occur. To do so, we reconsider antecedents of LMX quality perceptions and outline how each party's LMX quality perception is primarily dependent on the perceived contributions of the other party, moderated by perceived own contributions. We then integrate the notion of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories (ILTs and IFTs) to argue that the currencies of contributions differ between leaders and followers. This dyadic model sets the stage to explain that LMX disagreement can stem from (1) differences in both parties' ILTs as well as both parties' IFTs, but also from (2) differences in perceptions of own and other's behaviour. We conclude by discussing communication as a means of overcoming LMX disagreement and propose an array of potential studies along the lines of our conceptualization.


Foster, Philip A. "Leader-Follower Theory and the Transformational Organization," Leaderlab Qyarterly, Volume 1, Issue 3 (Fall 2010--scroll down page)

Leaders often seek the secret formula of leadership theory in their pursuit of effective organizational transformation. They desire a method that will aid them in efficiently moving their organization towards specified goals and objectives with the least amount of resistance. The goal of this paper is to address the leader-follower theory and its use in the transformational organization. This paper will address the attributes of humility and servant leadership and its contribution to the effectiveness of the leader-follower theory towards organizational transformation.


Foster, Philip A. " Leader-Follower Theory for the Learning Organization," Unpublished Paper, pdf 11/21/10 


King, Andrew J., Dominic J.P. Johnson, Mark Van Vogt "The Origins and Evolution of Leadership" (review article), Current Biology 10/13/09


Miller, Richard L.,  Jeanne Butler, Charles J. Cosentino "Followership effectiveness: an extension of Fiedler's contingency model," Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 2004

As a means of extending Fiedler's contingency model of leadership effectiveness to followership behavior, this study examined the relationship between followers' motivational disposition as measured by the least preferred co-worker scale, modified to refer to leaders (LPL), situational favorability as reflected in leader-member relations and follower experience, and followers' performance as measured by US Army enlisted efficiency report (EER). Participants were male, junior enlisted personnel serving with the US Army, Europe. The results indicated that in accordance with Fiedler, relations-oriented followers performed better in moderately favorable situations while task oriented followers performed better in highly unfavorable situations. In contrast to Fiedler, relations-oriented followers performed better in highly favorable conditions.


Cornelis Ilse; Alain Van Hiel; David De Cremer, "Birds of a feather: Leader-follower similarity and procedural fairness effects on cooperation,"  European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 09 /19/10

Abstract: The present article examines to what extent leader-follower similarity moderates the effect of procedural justice on followers' cooperation. Using subjective operationalizations of similarity in a vignette study, a field study and an experimental lab study, we demonstrated that the enactment of fair procedures elicits the highest levels of cooperation when followers perceive the leader as similar. This was true when similarity was framed in broad, deep-level terms (Study 1 and 2) or in terms of a single, specific characteristic, i.e., the need to belong (Study 3). In the discussion we elaborate on possible explanatory mechanisms and on the broader context of an integrative approach to leadership research.


Useem, Michael "Leading Your Boss," The Economic Times (India).  11/13/03

Practical assessment of the risks and benefits of leading from below that argues that doing so effectively benefits the organization and all concerned/


Hetland, Hilde, Gro Mjeldheim Sandal, and Tom Backer Johnsen Followers' Personality and Leadership Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies  May 2008   vol. 14  no. 4  322-331

The study presented in this article investigates how the personality of subordinates is related to leadership, an area largely neglected in prior research.


Shondrick, Sara J.  and Robert C. Lord "Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories: Dynamic Structures for Leadership Perceptions, Memory, and Leader-Follower Processes," International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology 2010, Volume 25 (John Wiley and Sons Ltd)


Ballus, J. "The Organization is Flat and Friendly: The Genesis of Leadership and Followership Thought To The Interdependence Continuum to" The Sports Digest" ( United States Sports Academy: 2002-2010)


Gillis, Richard "Stuck In A Time Warp,"   


Hrivnak, George "The Influence of Follower Personality and Affect on Their Perceptions of Transformational Leadership,"  George Washington University, (pdf), n.d. (Doctoral candidate)

This study examines the role of two sets of follower characteristics on perceptions of leadership behavior:
personality and dispositional affect. Utilizing a sample of approximately 150 NROTC Midshipmen, this study found that elements of both individual personality and affect predicted followers’ perceptions of transformational leadership behavior.


Jorgensen, Ray "Followership In a System," Jorgensen Learning Center (online article may be me more easily read in its self print or pdf format )

Jorgensen posits here  that "bosses demand compliance while leaders enroll people in vision" and further maintains that "bosses" are thrust upon employees who have little or no choice in the matter. Leaders, however, are chosen and sustain that role through "ongoing conversation and providing visionary guidance that helps people understand how they fit in."


Rodger Adair says he has found a great article that talks about courageous followers! You have to subscribe (free) to read the article but the site itself should be interesting to many members of this learning community:
 Shade, Jenny "Why Corporate Success Depends on 'Invincible' Employees: Nurtured by strong leadership, the 'invincibles' can pull organizations through turbulent times. (May, 2010)

Carsten, Mary Uhl-Bien, Bradley J. West, Jaime L. Patera, Rob McGregor "Exploring social constructions of followership: A qualitative study," The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 21, Issue 3,  Pages 543-562 (June 2010)


This study adopts a qualitative approach to deconstruct the meaning of followership. Interviews were conducted with employees in various industries to examine how individuals socially construct their roles as followers and to explore followership schemas and contextual influences that relate to these constructions. Results suggest that while some individuals socially construct definitions around passivity, deference and obedience, others emphasize the importance of constructively questioning and challenging their leaders. With regard to personal qualities that are thought to make followers effective, major themes such as obedience, expressing opinions, and taking initiative were found to be most disparate across different groups of followers. Results also revealed that contextual factors may affect both followership constructions and behavior in the follower role. These findings have important implications regarding a need to examine the construct of followership in leadership research, as well as raise interesting possibilities for advancing an “expanded” view of leadership in organizations



 Stam, Daan , Daan van Knippenberg and Barbara Wisse "Focusing on followers: The role of regulatory focus and possible selves in visionary leadership,"  The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 21, Issue 3,  Pages 457-468 (June 2010)


Vision communication is considered to be essential for leaders to mobilize followers, but knowledge of how and why vision communication may influence followers is scarce. We argue that visions may invite followers to create an ideal self (a desired image of the self). Subsequent consideration of this ideal self may motivate followers to make the ideal self (and thus the vision) reality. Furthermore, we propose that visions that focus on followers (by addressing followers personally and involving them in the vision) are more likely to lead to the creation of an ideal self and hence to higher follower performance than visions that do not focus on followers. Moreover, we argue that this effect is particularly strong for followers with a promotion self-regulatory focus, a focus on reaching ideals and ideal selves, because promotion focus causes sensitivity to the presence or absence of ideals (Higgins, 1987, 1996, 1997). The results of two experiments support our predictions.






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