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Chapter 3 Leader follower perspectives

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635253-4876

ISBN: 9781911635253

Published: May 2021

Component type: chapter

Published in: Event Leadership

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635253-4274



As we saw in the previous chapter, classic approaches to understanding leadership all shared the view that leadership is a specialised role – they focused on the individual and, whilst some of these theories looked at what other influences there may be (i.e. the situational context), they did so through the lens of the primary leader, carrying out leadership functions. This then can be seen as their one key limitation – they are leadercentric and don’t tend to recognise followers’ characteristics or initiatives (Uhl-Bien, Riggio, Lowe, & Carsten, 2014). This focus on the ‘heroic leader’ has, over the last 50 years, become increasingly criticised, as researchers began to look at leadership behaviours from a influence perspective, considering the dynamics of the leader-follower behaviours and leadership styles that might influence or change the behaviours of their followers or work subordinates. As Burns (1978) suggested, at this point, we knew a lot about leaders, whilst knowing very little about leadership. The body of work that grew out of such observations was largely concerned with what became known as charismatic and transactional /transformational leadership (Bass, 1985). Here scholars had started to focus on leadership styles – what is it that leaders do that makes them effective – and on the impact the leader has on their followers.

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Abson, 2021

Abson, E. (2021) "Chapter 3 Leader follower perspectives" In: Abson, D.E. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635253-4876


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