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Dynamics of Leader Group Prototypicality and Courageous Followership

Student Researchers: Linda Pimblett
Supervisor: Dr Graeme Ditchburn
Ethics approval: 2013/074

This current study examines the mediating effects of courageous followership between the relation of leader group prototypicality, affective commitment and organisational effectiveness. This study proposes that affective commitment is a natural response of courageous followers who work with leaders who are group prototypical. Furthermore, we suggest that leaders who represent what the “group stands for” develop effective followers resulting in organisational effectiveness. Hypotheses were tested using survey research with (N = 110) leaders working in corporate organisations in engineering, technology and the oil and gas sector. In support of my hypotheses, courageous followership resulted in a full mediation between leader group prototypicality and affective commitment. Courageous followership produced a partial mediation between the relation of leader group prototypicality and organisational effectiveness. Affective commitment also partially mediated the relation between leader group prototypicality and organisational effectiveness. In support of our findings, this paper presents a model developed through structural equation modelling. Finally, implications for the study are discussed from the theoretical platform of social identity theory of leadership and courageous followership. Practical implications for the development of courageous followership in organisations are discussed followed by suggestions for future research.