Kimberly Yost (Pennsylvania Western University, USA)

Courageous Companions

ISBN: 978-1-83753-987-1, eISBN: 978-1-83753-984-0

Publication date: 24 January 2024


Yost, K. (2024), "Prelims", Courageous Companions (Exploring Effective Leadership Practices through Popular Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024 Kimberly Yost. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

Courageous Companions

Series Title Page

Exploring Effective Leadership Practices Through Popular Culture

Series Editor: Michael Urick

The aim of this series is to examine modern and innovative business theories and methods via relatable popular cultural themes. The books will provide academically rigorous and credible applications and solutions to practitioners and upper level business students, in a format designed to be highly engaging and effective

Titles in Exploring Effective Leadership Practices Through Popular Culture

A Manager's Guide to Using the Force: Leadership Lessons From a Galaxy Far Far Away

Michael Urick

Leadership in Middle Earth: Theories and Applications for Organizations

Michael Urick

Leadership Insights for Wizards and Witches

Aditya Simha

Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the MCU

Gordon B. Schmidt and Sy Islam

Bend the Knee or Seize the Throne: Leadership Lessons From Westeros

Nathan Tong and Michael Urick


Against All Odds: Leadership and the Handmaid's Tale

Cristina de Mello-e-Souza Wildermuth

Cross-Cultural Leadership in the Four Nations: Lessons From Avatar the Last Airbender

Sy Islam and Gordon B. Schmidt

Slaying the Vampires, Werewolves and Demons of Ineffective Leadership

Aditya Simha

Title Page

Courageous Companions

Followership in Doctor Who


Kimberly Yost

Pennsylvania Western University, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Emerald Publishing, Floor 5, Northspring, 21-23 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 4DL

First edition 2024

Copyright © 2024 Kimberly Yost.

Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

Reprints and permissions service


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.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-83753-987-1 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-83753-984-0 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-83753-986-4 (Epub)


This book is dedicated to everyone who strives for the courage to laugh hard, run fast, and be kind.

About the Author

Kimberly Yost writes about the intersection of popular culture and leadership to discover how popular culture influences our understanding of leaders and the practice of leadership. She is the author of From Starship Captains to Galactic Rebels: Leaders in Science Fiction Television, co-editor of Leadership, Popular Culture, and Social Change with Kristin M.S. Bezio, and contributed to various edited volumes, including Gender, Media, and Organization: Mis(s)Representations of Women Leaders and Managers, Leadership, Populism, and Resistance, The Embodiment of Leadership, The Routledge Companion to Leadership, and The Sage Encyclopedia of Leadership. She is an editorial board member for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Leadership Studies. Dr Yost is an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania Western University, California Campus, USA teaching management, organizational behavior, teamwork, and leadership courses.

You can connect with Dr Yost on LinkedIn or her website at


As a scholar who uses popular culture narratives – and particularly science fiction narratives – to explore concepts about leadership and organizations, I have always wanted to write about the Doctor Who series. While I'm not the ultimate Whovian, I enjoy the show very much. But for many years I just couldn't seem to find my way into the connection between The Doctor and leadership.

In the Fall of 2022, as I was preparing my syllabus for a class on teamwork and leadership, I had a moment of clarity when developing a module on followership. I had been thinking about the chronicles of The Doctor from the wrong perspective. I discovered the series is properly examined from the perspective of the Companions. The lessons to be learned come from Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amy Pond, Rory Williams, Clara Oswald, Bill Potts, Yasmin Khan, Ryan Sinclair, River Song, Wilfred Mott, Harriet Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, The Osgoods, and so many more. Without the wisdom and strength of the Companions, The Doctor would inflict even greater chaos and vengeance across the universe. There would be no one to rein in the excesses or offer alternative solutions and crucial assistance. There would be no one to balance the wrath with compassion. There would be no one who could courageously stand up to The Doctor. Followership was the key to understanding Doctor Who.

While learning about leadership through popular culture is relatively commonplace now, I knew there would be a challenge in finding anyone who may be interested in the connection between followership and popular culture beyond the idea of the hero's sidekick. Happily, a colleague recommended A Manager's Guide to Using the Force: Leadership Lessons from a Galaxy Far Far Away by Michael J. Urick and I discovered Emerald Publishing's series on Exploring Effective Leadership Practices Through Popular Culture. I knew this could be a great vehicle to share my ideas and enthusiasm for the series and connect it to followership theory.

I am fortunate Michael Urick and Fiona Allison at Emerald Publishing agreed with me, and I hope you do, too. Enjoy!

Kimberly Yost

Spring 2023


I would like to thank family, friends, colleagues, students, and the team at Emerald Publishing for their support in helping to make this book happen. All of you made a significant contribution to keeping me motivated and focused on the project. Research and writing can be a lonely endeavor that isolates us from our normal relationships and routines. But when I did pop back up into the world, you were there. Your enthusiasm for the project gave me the courage to move forward. Thank you.