Conceptualising Authentic Followers and Developing a Future Research Agenda

  • Joseph Crawford
  • Sarah Dawkins
  • Angela Martin
  • Gemma Lewis
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Leadership and Followership book series (PASTLEFO)


Authentic leadership theories tend to be leader-centric, and often ignore the importance and effect of followers. In this chapter, the role of authentic followers in the leader–follower relationship is considered in greater depth, providing an updated conceptualisation of the construct characterised by (i) a psychological capacity for authenticity and (ii) positive organisational engagement. We also distinguish between the passive and active authentic followers to enable a more precise categorisation of two similar, but distinct, individuals. This chapter then considers how authentic followers (a) interact with leaders, (b) can be leaders, and (c) interact in teams. The chapter concludes by outlining a future research trajectory that discusses empirical validation and measurement, along with the fluidity and emergence of authentic followers and leaders.


Authentic followers Authentic followership Followers Authentic leaders Follower behaviours 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Crawford
    • 1
  • Sarah Dawkins
    • 2
  • Angela Martin
    • 2
  • Gemma Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Tasmanian School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of TasmaniaNewnhamAustralia
  2. 2.Tasmanian School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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