Foundations of followership: A study identifying the values and behaviors deemed most desirable by small business leaders in north Florida

by Deckert, Timothy J., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 133 pages; 3254716


Modern training and preparation in the field of leadership focuses heavily on the teaching of leadership practices; how to be a leader, what to do as a leader, and what is expected of leaders. The perception of leadership is held in such high regard that in most organizations, leadership is promoted as the only way to career success (Kelley, 1988). However, the very concept of leadership itself inherently implies there are more followers than leaders. At some point in time, most individuals will perform in the role of follower, but the same cannot be said for the role of a leader (Johnson, 2003). Why not then is followership taught as much, if not more so, than leadership? In recognizing that in recent years, studies in followership have been increasing in number (Rosenau, 2004; Stewart, 2003), this study attempts to contribute to this growing body of research that emphasizes the value and importance of followership and in doing so, empower followers with the knowledge on how to be more effective and more valuable when performing in a followership role.

This study employs leader-member exchange (LMX) Theory (Dansereau, Graen, & Haga, 1975; Graen & Cashman, 1975) as the rationale justifying the importance of conducting a research effort for the purpose of gaining an understanding of what exactly it is leaders most desire from their followers. When a leader and follower understand what is desired of each by the other and act accordingly, their relationship has an increased potential to develop into what leader-member exchange theory defines as a high quality dyadic relationship (Erdogan, Kraimer, & Liden, 2004; Fernandez & Hogan, 2002;). By surveying leaders within small business environments, the follower values and behaviors most congruent with the expectations of small business leaders will become known, thus contributing to the body of literature focusing on how followers can potentially influence the development of a high quality dyadic relationship.

AdviserJanice M. Spangenburg
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3254716

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