Through his call to “reverse the lens” in leadership, Shamir (2007) helped trigger the emergence of followership theory as a new field of study in leadership research. While followership theory brings exciting new opportunities to leadership studies, it also introduces theoretical and conceptual challenges for researchers. In this chapter we address these challenges by showing how followership can be positioned fully within the leadership construct. We extend Shamir’s (2007) call for a balanced view in leadership by showing how followership theory adds new perspectives on the ways in which we can study leadership as a dynamic, fluid, relational process. The alternative views we present (e.g., position, role, identity, constructionist, and co-creation) approach leadership study from a range of paradigmatic perspectives that allow us to more fully capture the behaviors, interactions, relational dynamics, and processes through which leadership and followership are created and constructed. We conclude by reflecting on Shamir’s legacy as a scholar, and the contributions he made through his willingness to not only open his mind, but also to constructively challenge alternative perspectives and views.
Uhl-Bien, M. and Carsten, M. (2018), "Reversing the Lens in Leadership: Positioning Followership in the Leadership Construct", Katz, I., Eilam-Shamir, G., Kark, R. and Berson, Y. (Ed.) Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 195-222. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-357120180000009005
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