Category Archives: Followers

The evolution of Leader-follower Reciprocity: the theory of Service-for-prestige

We describe the service-for-prestige theory of leadership, which proposes that voluntary leader-follower relations evolved in humans via a process of reciprocal exchange that generated adaptive benefits for both leaders and followers. We propose that although leader-follower relations first emerged in … Continue reading

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The Origins and Evolution of Leadership

How groups of individuals achieve coordination and collective action is an important topic in the natural sciences, but until recently the role of leadership in this process has been largely overlooked. In contrast, leadership is arguably one of the most … Continue reading

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Madness and Leadership: From Antiquity to the New Common Era

Why have multitudes of followers throughout history become attracted to leaders who demand sacrifice, campaigns of war or other adventures with unpredictable outcomes? Why do they command such powerful control over their followers? Madness and Leadership studies leaders and followers from social, cultural, and biological perspectives and explores aspects of their personalities that induce them to assume their respective roles. Continue reading

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Evolutionary Origins of Leadership and Followership

Drawing upon evolutionary logic, leadership is reconceptualized in terms of the outcome of strategic interactions among individuals who are following different, yet complementary, decision rules to solve recurrent coordination problems. This article uses the vast psychological literature on leadership as a database to test several evolutionary hypotheses about the origins of leadership and followership in humans. As expected, leadership correlates with initiative taking, trait measures of intelligence, specific task competencies, and several indicators of generosity. The review finds no link between leadership and dominance. The evolutionary analysis accounts for reliable age, health, and sex differences in leadership emergence. In general, evolutionary theory provides a useful, integrative framework for studying leader-follower relationships and generates various novel research hypotheses. Continue reading

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Exploring Social Constructions of Followership

This study adopts a qualitative approach to deconstruct the meaning of followership. Interviews were conducted with employees in various industries to examine how individuals socially construct their roles as followers and to explore followership schemas and contextual influences that relate … Continue reading

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Follower-Centered Perspectives on Leadership

The majority of leadership theories and studies have tended to emphasize the personal background, personality traits, perceptions, and actions of leaders. From this perspective, the followers have been viewed as recipients or moderators of the leader’s influence, and as vehicles … Continue reading

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