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Higher degree by research students

Ruth Sims


About me

My PhD research explores expectations about followership and follower behaviours from the perspectives of both followers and leaders. This is important because it is not yet clear what effective followership is. Nor is there a clear understanding of what followership behaviours contribute to individual work performance and thus to organisational success. It is likely however, that good leadership is not sufficient for organisational success without good followership.

My research is undertaken with the support of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment; and data collection is within the South Australian public sector. The work of the public sector is diverse employing more than 104,000 public servants. My research data is being collected through government documents as well as interviews with and surveys of public sector employees.

A better understanding of followership, followership behaviours, and the contribution followership makes to organisations, will have important practical implications. These include reward and recognition of effective followership, recruitment and selection of employees who follow well, and the professional development of both followers and leaders. The potential to improve the effectiveness of followers followership behaviours, and develop leaders understanding of followership as an important component of the leadership relationship, will be beneficial in supporting the day to day workplace interactions of followers and leaders.


Centre for Workplace Excellence

Australian Human Resources Institute - SA State Councillor