n Journal of Contemporary Management - Followership in contemporary organisations : a South African perspective




When a problem is experienced in an organisation, the leader or manager is often the person to refer to in the first instance. However, the constant change characteristic of contemporary organisational environments often creates complex problems that the leader cannot solve alone. Insufficient attention has been given to the dynamics of followership and those who follow the leader in the workplace. This is surprising considering that followers constitute the bulk of most organisations, and thus have immense influence in determining the welfare of contemporary organisations. This study aims to investigate the complexities of followership in contemporary organisations, by examining the factors that influence followers on an individual, organisational and environmental level. Recognition is also given to followers as powerful actors who in turn influence other individuals, the organisation itself and the environment in which the organisation is embedded. The investigation was carried out using an empirical study of the dynamics of followership in a range of contemporary organisations in South Africa including government and non-governmental organisations, parastatals, commercial firms and civil society institutions.


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