Lead and follow

Objectives and research questions

Many contributions to the discussion on leadership in “our days” suggest that leadership must change because followers and market dynamics are changing.
The research questions on the topic of “leading and following” are

  • Why does the concept of leadership exist?
  • How does leadership change? Through which influences?
  • Does technology change leadership?
  • Are the differences between leaders and followers diminishing?
  • What role does trust play in leadership?
  • Does leadership work differently in a world that many call “complex”?
  • What do modern organizations look like? How does their leadership look like?
  • Where does leadership develop to when algorithms can do more and more of what managers are doing now?
  • Does the access and distribution of knowledge through digitalization change the relationship between leaders and followers?
  • What is the state of digital tools and psychology on the topic of leadership and organisation?
  • Does it help if managers work with organisational theory and system theory?

The current state of research

For about 15 years, research on leadership has been supplemented by research on followership. The contributions come mainly from sociology, psychology and organisational psychology. On the one hand, there is a lively interest in research on the changes that young people bring to our companies. On the other hand, many researchers are concerned with the consequences of digitalization for the relationship between management and employees.

The number of research contributions currently available are unmanageable. We try to counter this by analyzing the discourse in our own contributions and by presenting those contributions that catch our attention with reviews on this platform.

Especially when it comes to the topic of managers and followers, all we can work on is a subjective selection. Of course we always look at the famous authors and thinkers. Beyond that we have to admit that often it is a matter of chance if we bump into interesting ideas that can enrich our thinking. It is impossible to claim that our evaluation is based on a truly in-depth knowledge of the entire range of ideas that are worth knowing.

Interesting contributions to the topic

Kellerman, Barbara (2008) Followership. How followers are creating change and changing leaders. Boston, MA, Harvard University Press.

Kellerman, Barbara (2012) The end of leadership. New York: Harper.

Sinek, Simon (2017) Leaders eat last. Why some teams pull together and other don’t. London: Penguin Random House.

Our own contributions and offerings

Böck, Josef (2019) Digitale Transformation und Führungspraxis. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel.