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The Umwelt of Followership

Author(s): Jeff Suderman

Journal: Strategic Leadership Review
ISSN 2164-5108

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Leadership | Followership

By definition followers must be involved in order for the act of leadership to occur. In fact, “leaders can only lead when enabled by followers to do so”. Despite the importance of the role of followers, much more attention has been given to the study of leadership than followership. This article examines several different views of followers. Through the use of the lens of Umwelt, how environments are seen and understood idiosyncratically by different people, I will examine four different perspectives of followership; positional, power-based, situational and as partners. The context provided in each of these four areas will provide readers with a means to assess and identify unique views of followership and understand their practice and implications.

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