Followership Research: Looking Back and Looking Forward

This paper briefly reviews the historical limitations of research on leadership in an effort to avoid these same pitfalls in the study of followers and followership. In particular, research on leadership has been overly leader-centric, and research on followership should avoid simply “reversing the lens” and focusing exclusively on followers. Specific issues addressed include discussion of the appropriate term to identify followers and the intertwined nature of leaders and followers in the co-production of leadership. Finally, suggestions are made for guiding future research on followership