Exploring a new conceptual framework for authentic followership (AF) comprised of three components: individual, dyadic and organisational. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the components of AF interact as a positive, non-linear feedback loop. It presents three propositions of positive outcomes arising from AF. First, AF builds follower’s strengths and capacities. Second, AF strengthens dyadic relationships between followers and leaders. Third, AF deepens and strengthens positive organisational culture thereby improving organisational performance. It discusses the practical significance of these propositions for followers, leaders and firms.
The paper provides an overview of AF. Then three propositions of positive outcomes arising from AF are presented. It identifies how these propositions could benefit followers, leaders and firms. In conclusion, it offers suggestions for future research directions and notes some limitations of this work.
The key finding of this paper is that AF could potentially strengthen the capacities and performance of followers, leaders and organisations if the propositions presented in this work are correct – if the three components of AF interact with each other as a positive feedback loop strengthening and reinforcing each component of AF. To establish the validity of the AF model and the three propositions the paper suggests that investigations in different empirical settings are undertaken: SME’s and multinational corporations, in different countries under different market conditions, with followers and leaders of different gender, age, education level, roles and tenure of employment.
The paper’s core contention that the components of AF interact as a positive feedback loop has significant practical implications – beneficial outcomes for followers, leaders and firms. P1 explains how AF enables followers to gain confidence, maturity and create solid foundations from which to thrive and flourish. P2 explains how dyadic relationships between followers and leaders could be strengthened, deepening trust and respect between each party, thereby enhancing leadership effectiveness. P3 explains how the dynamic processes of AF can strengthen and deepen positive organisational culture and enhance organisational performance.
Thank you to the anonymous reviewers for comments, which improved this work.
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