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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Followership in Action
Cases and Commentaries
Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA
Michelle C. Bligh
Neoma Business School, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Melissa K. Carsten
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, USA
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK
First edition 2016
Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.
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A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 978-1-78560-948-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-78560-947-3 (Online)
As one who has witnessed and experienced the power of followers whose actions have ranged from indifference, harm, or goodness, I commend this book because it reminds us we all must act—act with conviction and courage to ensure the betterment of our institutions and society as a whole.
– Edith Eva Eger, Clinical Psychologist,Auschwitz Survivor
Once your eyes are opened to “followership,” you will see it everywhere. This very fine collection of case studies and thought provoking essays sheds new light on the role that followership plays in every field from business to the arts, as well as the importance of followership to an organization’s (and a leader’s) success.
– Robert Kelley, Carnegie Mellon University
This book has everything – memorable teaching stories, academic analysis, global contributions, every day examples, headline grabbing events and provocative dialogue-starting questions. There isn’t anything like it yet in the field of Followership. What a great addition!
– Ira Chaleff, Author, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders, and Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong
Followership in Action reflects the vital interplay between practice and theory and theory and practice. The editors of this volume and each of the book’s contributors, skillfully and creatively address the opportunities, challenges, and ethics of what it means to be leader and follower – the critical importance of generative capacity, interrelationships, and authentic engagement. It is an important contribution to the field that should be read by many.
– Hallie Preskill, Managing Director, FSG
Followership in Action gives a long overdue voice to the “silent partners” in the leader-follower relationship. This collection of engaging cases and commentaries provides readers with a scholarly and practical introduction to the challenges facing followers in business, education, the military, the government, and other settings. Theoretical commentary and discussion questions equip students, faculty and practitioners to explore these issues in depth. Followership in Action is truly a global treatment of followership, with contributors drawn from Europe, Asia, the United Kingdom and North America.
– Craig E. Johnson, Professor of Leadership Studies,George Fox University and Author, Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership
Without Followership, there can’t be Leadership! Drawn from business, education, the arts, government and the military, these crisp and compelling stories are a “must read” for all who want their workplace to be productive and their organization to be at the top of its game.
– Meena S. Wilson, Senior Enterprise Associate,Center for Creative Leadership India and Author, Developing Tomorrows’ Leaders Today: Insights from Corporate India
List of Contributors
|Rodger Adair||DeVry University, Mesa, AZ, USA|
|Tanuja Agarwala||Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi, India|
|Sharon Armstead||Texas State University, Cedar Park, TX, USA|
|Paul Berg||U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, USA|
|Thomas Bisschoff||College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK|
|B. Ariel Blair||Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA|
|Michelle C. Bligh||Neoma Business School, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France|
|Melissa K. Carsten||Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, USA|
|Sandra Corlett||Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK|
|Eric Downing||Pioneer Investments, Inc., Boston, MA, USA|
|Debra Finlayson||Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting Inc., Vancouver, Canada|
|Andrew Francis||Hertfordshire Business School, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK|
|Heather Getha-Taylor||School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA|
|William S. Harvey||University of Exeter Business School, Exeter, UK|
|Marc Hurwitz||University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada|
|Eric K. Kaufman||Honors Residential College, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA|
|Susan Keim||Donnelly College, Kansas City, KS, USA|
|Kimberley A. Koonce||Ohio Christian University, Circleville, OH, USA|
|Rob Koonce||Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA|
|Karlijn Kouwenhoven||Deloitte Consulting, Den Haag, The Netherlands|
|Suzanne Martin||transform., Birmingham, AL, USA|
|Rachael Morris||Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK|
|Jennifer Moss Breen||Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA|
|TamilSelvan Ramis||HELP University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Kae Reynolds||The Business School, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK|
|Rushton ‘Rusty’ Ricketson Sr||Luther Rice College and Seminary, Lithonia, GA, USA|
|Rhonda K. Rodgers||Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA|
|Sonya Rogers||Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, AL, USA|
|James H. Schindler||Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, AL, USA|
|Steven Lee Smith||Co-Founder, The Human Business, Flagstaff, AZ|
|Eugene Y. J. Tee||HELP University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Douglas S. E. Teoh||University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Semenyih, Malaysia|
|Ted Thomas||U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, USA|
|Rens van Loon||Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands|
|W. David Winner||Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, USA|
Research suggests that followers contribute an average of 80% to the success of organizations. Yet leading management scholars have argued for nearly a century that we too often assume the contributions of followers are an effect rather than a cause of that success. Followership in Action responds to this assumption by offering compelling cases and commentaries written from the diverse perspectives of more than 30 scholars and practitioners from Canada, France, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States who lend support to the notion that followership is more than an outcome of leadership.
Although followership as a formal discipline is less than a century old, the applied organizational contexts of followership have existed since antiquity. As the study of followership further escalates into the global mainstream of leadership studies, the need accelerates for leaders to enable followers to be more productive for the cause. Through the use of story in case studies, scholarly post-commentaries, and discussion questions posed for furthering classroom and organizational dialogue, Followership in Action offers an excellent way to more proactively engage future leaders and followers in issues that they are likely to face in various organizational settings.
Followership in Action is a highly practical and scholarly book to which leadership scholars, practitioners, and students will actively turn to better understand and apply followership theory to everyday human resource development, management, and leadership contexts. It was written with administrators, coaches, consultants, executives, human resource professionals, academic professors, and support staff fully in mind. Its content will appeal to academia, corporations, non-profits, and other for profit enterprises.
Several years ago, I vividly remember being first introduced to the term organizational capacity. I deeply resonated with the potential of the term and have since been captivated by its implications. Over the past decade, the relevance of the term has become increasingly noteworthy to me as the result of what I continue to see and experience in the world.
In the pursuit of my doctoral studies, my thoughts concerning organizational capacity turned to an organization’s relational capacity. Well into the literature review for my dissertation, I literally stumbled across a journal article on verbal communication that specifically referenced the term leader-follower relations. It was a defining moment that extended well beyond what I was researching at the time. It altered the trajectory of my professional life.
I would be remiss not to mention a third term that stirred my passion for wanting to write this book. Appreciative Inquiry teaches that the generative capacity of an organization is limited by our appreciation for what is, imagining what might be, determining what should be, and creating what will be. This generativity, or lack thereof, begins with individuals who as active and passive participants influence relationships which, in turn, drive organizational processes.
Organizational Capacity, Relational Capacity, and Generative Capacity
Each of these provocative notions feed my interest in followership and leadership. In the complex and ever changing world in which we live, leading and following is at the heart of generative organizational processes. To accept something less than what an organization is capable of achieving is truly beyond me, yet as evidenced by the cases and commentaries in this book, organizations do it every day. An understanding of, and appreciation for, followership in the leadership literature can lead to more generative organizational processes. It was for this purpose that this book was written. This point also leads to a bigger question that was first entertained in writing the proposal for the book, that is, how can we teach these ideas to others? How can we more effectively integrate followership into our leadership curricula and workplace settings?
An initial response to that question came one day while using two of my favorite texts for teaching negotiation and conflict resolution. One of the texts is more scholarly, while the other is more practical. I have always been drawn by the ability to practically apply what I am teaching to others. I asked the question of what those two texts might look like if combined into a single text. That initial mental note ultimately led to the creation of Followership in Action.
Followership in Action was purposely written with three different audiences in mind: scholars, practitioners, and students. Each of the contributors to this groundbreaking volume on followership was made keenly aware of the editors’ intentions to address these unique audiences while offering content to which each audience would relate. We believe that our desire has been firmly captured in the following pages by those who have constructed the cases and commentaries in this book. We thank each of the authors of this volume for their unique contribution. We also wish to thank Emerald Group Publishing for having the vision to pursue this project.
We now invite each reader to stand with us on the stairs of Followership in Action as it relates to the various topics of the book which include the arts, business, education, ethics, and government. We hope that you enjoy what this book offers and wish to hear how you are using it in your academic classroom or other corporate, for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit setting.
- Section I: Business
- Chapter 1 All in “The Family”: Leading and Following through Individual, Relational, and Collective Mindsets
- Chapter 2 A Match Made of Mission
- Chapter 3 Followers Alert a Leader
- Chapter 4 The Acquired Executive
- Chapter 5 Integrating Conflict and Releasing Creative Energy: A Case for Mary Parker Follett
- Chapter 6 Corporate President as Follower
- Chapter 7 In Whom Do We Invest?
- Chapter 8 Followership and the Paradox of Promotion
- Chapter 9 Just in Time Followership
- Chapter 10 Diversity, Inclusion, and Followership
- Chapter 11 The Importance of Followership and Reputation in an HR Consulting Firm
- Chapter 12 Dancing Leader
- Section II: Education and the Arts
- Chapter 13 Shattered Dream of a University Professor
- Chapter 14 Artist as Apprentice: Reexamining Distance in the Leader-Follower Relationship
- Chapter 15 Online Cybersecurity Courses: Dissent and Followership
- Chapter 16 Who’s in Charge of a Residential College?: Student-led Seminars as an Example of Followership in Action
- Chapter 17 Followership in Service Organizations: An English Secondary School Case of Distributed Leadership
- Section III Ethics, Government, and Military
- Chapter 18 The Interplay of Follower and Leader Ethics: A Case Study of the Film “The Wave”
- Chapter 19 Leaders, Followers, and Failures at the VHA
- Chapter 20 To Follow or not to Follow? A Tale of Corrupt Power and Unethical Leadership
- Chapter 21 Followership, Hierarchies, and Communication: Achieving or Negotiating Buy-in within the Public Sector?
- Chapter 22 A Mistake in the Numbers
- Chapter 23 Responding to Perceptions of Electoral Fraud: Followership, Emotions, and Collective Action from Malaysia’s 13th General Election
- Chapter 24 Leading from the Middle: Effective Followership
- Chapter 25 Bernie Madoff’s Inner Circle
- About the Editors
- About the Authors
- Case Matrix