Followership: An Important Partner of Leadership: Organizational Development

Followership: An Important Partner of Leadership: Understanding FollowershipFollowership is interactive” (p. 48). Indeed, “good followership is underpinned by human factor science” (Whitlock, 2013, p. 22). According to Whitlock (2013), the crux of followership is appropriate skills and behaviors for optimized performance, which contributes to upholding organizational development. Hence, followership is defined by Maroosis (2008) as a “discipline of competences and response-abilities” (p. 18), and he further explained that “response-ability is readiness” (p. 18). In this sense, Maroosis (2008) contended that good followership can be learned, and the most important function followers possess is to provide feedback.

Following, however, is not that clear cut. As Kean et al. (2011) wrote, “following is a complex process which was based on followers’ socially co-constructed views of leaders” (p. 515). It is clear that if followers resist following, the function of leadership might break down. Because of the intercorrelation of leaders and followers, Jerry (2013) asserted that “the followers must be willing and able to be inspired and be led” (p. 348). He believed that followership is “a form of leadership” (p. 348) since followers need to “adopt some characteristics of leadership” (p. 348). The key is rooted in shared values and indispensable conditions of leaders and followers who work together to create an effective institution. In a sense, this “collective responsibility” (Jerry, 2013, p. 351) requires both parties to play a reciprocal role to achieve the same goal.