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Followership, what is it and why do people follow?

Followership, what is it and why do people follow?.


Laurent M. Lapierre , University of Ottawa, Canada
Melissa K. Carsten , Winthrop University, South Carolina, USA


This book, which offers a collection of chapters written by thought leaders on the topic of followership, provides answers to these fundamental questions and elucidates how they can inform management theory, practice, and education.

Leadership has been written about and studied for centuries, more often than not addressing how those in leadership roles influence their followers. This represents a very leader-centric view of the leadership phenomenon, where followers are considered as passive recipients of leaders' influence. However, people's attempts to exercise leadership cannot be successful if there are no other people who recognize and support their leadership. In other words, effective leadership cannot exist without some form of followership - this book re-casts the 'follower' role in a more favourable and productive light.


  • This is the first collective work on the theories of followership
  • Provides new insights on this increasingly popular topic
  • Covers historical perspectives before elaborating on new conceptual frameworks
  • Offers psychological explanations for why people follow,
  • Describes factors predicting capacity to switch between follower and leader roles
  • Considers why organizations are more reliant on followers now than in the past, and the sorts of environments where specific followership styles are most likely to be nurtured and of greatest value to leadership.

Table of Contents

Contributor biographies

Introduction and book overview

Part 1: What is Followership?

  1. Exploring historical perspectives of followership: the need for an expanded view of followers and the follower role (Carsten, Harms, & Uhl-Bien)
  2. Exploring the 'flip side' of the coin: do authentic leaders need authentic followers? (Rodgers & Bligh)
  3. A new conceptual framework for authentic followership (de Zilwa)
  4. The fluid nature of follower and leader roles (Baker, Stites-Doe, Mathis, & Rosenbach)
  5. Comparing followers and subordinates: accounting for the effects of organizational hierarchy (Hinrichs & Hinrichs)

Part 2: Why do people follow?

  1. Why do people follow? (Popper)
  2. Being both leaders and followers: advancing a model of leader and follower role-switching (Sy & McCoy)
  3. Leading to develop truly effective followers (Jaussi & Randel)
  4. Why and how should subordinates follow their managers? (Lapierre)

Read a sample chapter- Chapter 9: Why and How Should Subordinates Follow Their Managers? (Laurent M. Lapierre)

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781783505159
ISBN Electronic: 9781783505166
Publication Date: 10 April 2014
Format print: Hardback
Page count: 160
Dimensions: 165 x 240

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