This quantitative study researched and analyzed whether a relationship exists between follower behavior style of adult learners and preferred leadership characteristics. Follower behavior has become more important for managers in order to ensure open communication in a diverse work environment. In this dissertation, leadership theories, behaviors, and followership were discussed. The research questions asked "What are the follower perceptions of effective leadership characteristics?" and "Do behaviors influence perceptions of effective leadership characteristics?" were addressed. The target population was faculty and working adults enrolled at two colleges in Fort Worth, TX. The survey instruments used were the DISC Styles Insight instrument and the Leadership Perceptions Survey. The surveys were administered in person by the researcher in the classroom. Chi-square and cross tabulation methods were used to analyze the data. The findings reflected various relationships between follower behavior and preferred leadership characteristics. Some of the findings further confirmed finding of other researchers, and other relationship findings were unique to this study. Demographics and overall preferences were also scrutinized with findings similar to other researchers. The implications of the findings were that perception of effective leadership characteristics are influenced by follower behavior style. The findings of this study assist in a better understanding between followers and leaders, thus improving communication, and ultimately, overall production. Future research could scrutinize each behavior individually by various demographics or use other cross sections of populations or by occupation.
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