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The Leader-Follower Relationship: A Leader-Follower Perspective

Holton, Michael Joseph (2014) The Leader-Follower Relationship: A Leader-Follower Perspective. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

There has been insufficient research into leadership in the Irish civil service. There has been even less research into followership in the Irish civil service. This research study aimed to fill this research gap by exploring the leader-follower relationship in the Irish civil service from the perspective of leader-followers.

A leader-follower is a person who occupies the roles of leader and follower simultaneously. The leader-follower relationship is the social interaction that occurs between leaders and followers as they fulfil (and occasionally alternate in) these roles. It is a complex, continuously changing relationship subject to numerous demands, choices and constraints.

This small-scale case study explored the experience of the leader-follower relationship in the Irish civil service from the perspective of leader-followers. A qualitative, interpretative research paradigm underpinned the exploratory case study methodology employed. The research methods consisted of content analysis of an earlier study into leadership, discourse analysis of semi-structured interviews with two leader-followers, and network analysis of segmented transcripts of those interviews.

This exploratory case study is intended as a pilot study since it offers actionable findings. These could serve as the foundation of a practical action research cycle to improve the practice of a leader-follower. The research study offers insights, illustrations and inductions rather than universal generalisations. These are principles for phronesis, or practical wisdom. For example, leader-followers should balance the need to delegate aligned tasks with the concomitant risk of operational distance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government > Public Sector
Divisions: School of Business > Masters of Science in Management
Depositing User: Claire Wallnutt
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2014 14:58
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014 14:59
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/1799

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