Introduced by Hollander and Webb, the term followership is characterized as an independent relationship in which the leader’s perceived legitimacy can affect the degree to which followers allow themselves to be influenced.
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Followership, servant leaders (next slide), and authenticity all share one common characteristic: Leader ethicality.
De Cremer and Tenbrunsel define leader ethicality as the intention to demonstrate normatively appropriate conduct and to create an environment within which others will be encouraged to act ethically and discouraged from acting unethically.
The social perception of a leader’s legitimacy may play an important role in determining how the leader’s morally relevant actions are interpreted and the influence leaders have on followers.
Leadership and followership are reciprocal relationships with one influencing the other.