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The romance of the follower: part 1

Marc Hurwitz (PhD student at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)
Samantha Hurwitz (Senior Partner at FLIPskills, Waterloo, Canada)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 13 March 2009




The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to provide a compelling argument that followership has significant practical value in enhancing career and organizational value; and, second, to encourage dialogue about followership. Part 2 will extend current ideas about followership to provide a more comprehensive, holistic model. Part 3 will show how the model can be used as a training tool, in mentoring, for performance appraisals, and in designing HR solutions.


The strengths and weaknesses of current theories are highlighted, motivating both the need for making followership more visible within an organization and the need for a more comprehensive model.


Good followers report higher career satisfaction, get promoted more often, and add greater value to their organizations. Moreover, followship skills can be developed.


Previous research has focused on followship as either a fixed set of behaviours or traits, or as something a leader has to learn to manage. This is the first paper to empower followers – everyone in an organization is a follower and followership skills can be learned. As such, the three articles are of particular interest to senior executives and HR departments.



Hurwitz, M. and Hurwitz, S. (2009), "The romance of the follower: part 1", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 80-86.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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