“Follow the leader?” Exploring the Benefits of Proactive Followership

Quinn Thompson

Dr. Kristen Wilson, Department of Corporate Communication & Technology

As the vast majority of the work force is in some shape or form a follower, the gap in academia that focuses on the follower is ever present. However, the first hurdle is not the education nor the research itself, but the connotation around the word “follower”. Society puts such an emphasis on being a leader, one is led to believe that being anything but makes you less than. Which reinstates the need for more research on followership, so individuals better understand what being followers entails. In particular, this research seeks to understand how employees in “follower” roles perceive themselves and how that correlates to job satisfaction and job performance, with a theory that the greater the role of activism and effectiveness in followers will correlate to higher job satisfaction and job performance. To investigate this thesis, the use of a survey dispersed to business professionals via social media outlets was the primary driver as well as extensive secondary analysis. The research and results will provide an insight into the newly developed, world of followership and its impact in the workplace.

Keywords and phrases: follower, followership, business, workplace, job satisfaction, job performance

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-4-2020


Kristen B. Wilson

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Assistant Professor of Corporate Communication & Technology

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Management, Marketing, and International Business

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)