Take a moment now to apply the concepts you learned from the readings this week. Follow the instructions below to submit your work.
This week you were introduced to one way in which researchers categorize followers. This mechanism is helpful in that it allows theorist and practical users to differentiate between different levels of followership, recognizing that there are ineffective and effective ranks.
The chart below illustrates the development of followership styles by some of the leading theorists. You can see that the first description of followership styles were all negative. It was not until Kelley, that the positive aspects of followership were categorized. Since that time, as seen on the table, future categories feature stages that illustrate a developmental perspective, thus implying an ability to move up or down the scale.
For this assignment, we will rely on a tool developed by Robert Kelley during his initial research into the topic of Followership. Use the following link to open a copy of the Followership Questionnaire. Take a few moments to complete the questionnaire. Keep In mind, as highlighted in the instructions, it would be best to identify a work or volunteer situation where you interact with others, especially one or more superiors. This will provide a context through which to complete and evaluate your results. Answer every question using the same context.
To discover your score, you will need to plot each score on the chart, located at the bottom of Page Two. For the INDEPENDENT/DEPENDENT, you will place a dot or X on the line that goes up and down. For PASSIVE/ACTIVE, you will place a dot or X on the line that goes across. Once you have plotted your scores, draw two lines to connect your two plot points.
Example: Independent Score of 50 & Passive Score of 15 = Alienated Follower
Once you have completed the questionnaire, we will now prepare to analyze your results. To help in this process, it might be useful to review the styles that Kelley uses and their associated meanings. Be careful not to just skip to your type. You should become familiar with each type since chances are we will encounter each on a regular basis. Knowing about each type will help you better understand how best to interact. Keep in mind, as you read these descriptions, that Kelleys descriptions are based on two scales: Independent/Dependent Thinking and Passive/Active Engagement.
EXEMPLARY: According to Kelleys model, exemplary followers can be a beneficial asset related to organizational performance. Their ability to provide self-management and assess their own work behavior in accordance with organizational values allows leaders to refocus their energies into other aspects of the organization. Because of how exemplary followers perceive their own efficacy and empowerment within the organization, it would be implicit that they would personally adapt to the organization, adapt the organization to their preferred style, or exit the organization altogether. This adaptive behavior allows them to adjust in whatever way allows them to produce levels of job satisfaction and job performance that they perceive are beneficial to their goals and objectives. This is supported by the contention that effective followers adjust to the needs of the organization, or exit, rather than despair (Daft, 2007). Kelley (1992) also asserted that one of the strengths of exemplary followers is that they find ways to increase their own value to the organization, which can also affect job satisfaction.
ALIENATED: Alienated followers are capable independent thinkers but are less likely to actively engage in aspects of the organization. According to Kelley, this lack of engagement can actually occur through withdrawal from certain aspects of organizational life. Their independent thinking style allows them to evaluate the organization critically. At the same time, their analysis does not translate into action. They may have an idea concerning what should be done but do not act upon their impressions. Rather, they can become critical and launch disparaging appraisals of leadership and the organization. Kelley suggests that liberation from negative sentiments can help alienated followers become more effective. He further asserts that empowerment to engage organizational processes can also be a beneficial way to enhance follower effectiveness.
CONFORMIST: Opposite of alienated followers are conformist followers. These individuals tend to be actively engaged in the organization but do not have the capacity for or have forfeited independent thinking. Individuals at this level of followership trust in the leadership of the organization to think critically and make decisions for them. They have accepted the role of the obedient workers, which is a role that traditional business managers seem to find compatible with their definition of good followers (Kellerman, 2008). Conformist followers have a need to develop self-reliance in their cognitive skills and self-confidence relative to the carrying out of their ideas if they are to move from conforming to exemplary.
PASSIVE: Passive followers are those who, by design or type, display neither independence nor active participation in the organization. These individuals do not actively seek out new ideas or the application of ideas given to them. They largely depend on others for direction and motivation. If there were a relationship between followership style, job satisfaction, and job performance, it would be implicit that these individuals would show the lowest levels of job satisfaction and performance.
PRAGMATISTS: Kelley also identifies one other follower style entitled the pragmatist follower. These individuals have the capacity to think and act on their own, but they are limited in their ability to follow through. As followers, they perform the basic functions of their job or task but do not move beyond essential behaviors needed to maintain average organizational performance. Safety in the organization is their main motivation their own safety their own security. They do not seek to rock the boat by underachieving or overachieving. In essence, they do what needs to get done in order to stay off the radar. They may or may not be committed to either the leader or the mission.
Daft, R. (2008). The leadership experience (4th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson. Kellerman, B. (2008). Followership: How followers are creating change and changing leaders. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.Kelley, R. (1992). The power of followership. New York: Doubleday Currency.
Using the information above and your own research on the web (and yes that assumes you are doing some of your own research), you are being asked to submit a 3-5 page self-analysis of your followership style. You should feel free to use one of the styles listed above (associated with your questionnaire), however, you should also feel free to adopt new terminology depending on your personal reading and research.
1.) Introduction: Define Followership and provide a brief defense for its use.
2.) My Style: Record your scores and describe what these scores suggest about your followership style. It may be helpful to discuss the context used to derive your scores, which would allow you to describe specific reasons for your responses.
3.) My Development: Describe some specific modifications that would need to occur to improve your scores. Be sure to identify the difference between internal and external modifications that would need to occur (e.g. changing my attitude vs. changing my job).
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