Courageous Followership: An Investigation of the Nature, Antecedents, and Outcomes of a Multidimensional Construct
Hogan, Toschia M.
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Evolving views of followers and power in today’s increasingly complex and turbulent business environments provides a backdrop for the emergence of scholarly and industry intrigue in the role and behavior of followers. Surprisingly, although it is widely acknowledged that without followers, there is no leader and that followership shapes employee performance, empirical investigations of effective followership remains scarce. Thus, in this dissertation, I examine the nature of followership and the coinciding influence of courage in followers. Specifically, integrating the nascent followership and courage literature, I introduce a new conceptualization of courageous followership and validate a newly developed multi-dimensional measure of the construct (Study 1). In a separate study, integrating event system and trait activation theories to develop and test an interactionist model, I investigate whether perceptions of leader characteristics (i.e., resilience and relational energy) foster followership behavior (i.e., courageous followership) and followership outcomes (i.e., follower creativity). Furthermore, I hypothesize that the strength of a weak situation (i.e., disruptive event criticality) influences the relationship between leader resilience and courageous followership and more so when perceptions of leader relational energy are high. The findings of the person-event interactionist model illustrate the independent and synergistic causes of a new type of followership behavior and substantiate the effectiveness of followership in inspiring meaningful outcomes for employees. Theoretical and practical implications, along with directions for productive future followership research, are discussed.