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Discovering desirable followers: a study of typology
conference contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by A A Zawawi, N Z Kamarunzaman, Z H Hussin, James Campbell
The study on followership has intrigued researchers as it represents the 'say' of the group. In accomplishing task and team's objectives, understanding followers' behavior is fundamental. Followers move the strategies laid out by their leaders and will determine the pace of team success. Social identity theory asserts that uniformity usually exists in a group practicing the same routines and they will have the same category of temperaments. There is a need to explore these similarities should they exist in armed forces. Although there are proven assumptions that military men orchestrate coincident behaviors, this conception has limitedly been tested in terms of followership. Most common assumptions in the army are that they will follow what is instructed. To a certain extent, this might be true, but what drives them to follow, and are they 'characteristically' independent or active in following? Most studies have yet to deeply characterize this behavior in terms of group or team citizenship, especially in military settings. This research is carried out in an infantry unit located in Central North Malaysia. The objectives of this research are to identify the similarities in followers' typology, to explore the differences among followers' type in terms of followers' conformity and to examine the relationship between typologies' criteria (independent thinking and activity level) with followers' conformity. Of all four tested hypotheses, it is accepted that there is a similarity in the types of followers from the selected organization (H1), and there is a significant relationship between activity level and followers' conformity (H4). However, there is found to be no relationship between independent thinking and followers' conformity (H3) and there is no significant difference among followers in terms of their conformity (H2). This study contributes to multiple aspects of organizational behavior especially followership in the military. Copyright © 2012 IEEE.