A followership approach to leadership: The interplay between leadership, context, and follower behaviors

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Abstract

Leadership research has privileged leaders' active role in shaping leader-follower interactions, whereas much less attention has been given to how followers interact with leaders. We propose that leader-member exchange (LMX) mediates the relationship between followership and employee behaviors. We also suggest that top management openness (TMO) moderates these relationships. With a sample of 769 supervisor-subordinate dyads, we examined the role of followership and contextual variables on LMX and outcomes. We found that LMX mediates the relationship between proactive followership and voice and that this relationship was significant only when TMO was high. These findings suggest that followers play an active role in the leadership process and that to stimulate voice one should consider two levels of analysis: followers and leaders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • followership
  • LMX
  • top management openness
  • voice

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