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The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations by Ronald E. Riggio, Jean Lipman-Blumen, Ira Chaleff

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Part 4. Followers and Leaders

Research, Practice, and the Future

There is a proliferation of books and journals that contain an ever-growing body of social science research on leadership. This leadership oeuvre is evolving into its own academic discipline, with areas of specialization, numerous courses on all types and aspects of leadership, comprehensive textbooks and handbooks, and professional organizations dedicated to leadership. But there is a dangerous limitation to this—one that has been mentioned frequently in earlier chapters of this book:

Despite the fact that followers are an essential part of the leadership equation, there has been very little research attention given to followership in comparison to leadership. Only a handful of pioneering courses on followership exist, and the number of consultants and other experts who focus on followership (many of whom are represented in this book) is miniscule in comparison to the vast and growing number of leadership experts.

The work reported in this final section of the book is a collection of research and applications of research from authors who represent that group of leadership scholars and experts who have been focusing in a serious way on followers and followership. For instance, authors Robert G. Lord and Michael A. Hogg for many years have advocated that followers play a central role in creating leaders and the construct of "leadership." Other chapters in this section examine specific aspects of how followers enhance value ...

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