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Effective Followership Characteristics: Self-regulation and Intercultural Communication Competence

Mellon, Cassandrea
Committee Members: 
Dr. Michelle Violanti
May 2016


Followership is a remarkably pervasive experience shared by all human beings who occupy the masses within national and global organizations. The purpose of the current study was to further knowledge and understanding of the followership construct by distinguishing a set of communicative characteristics that effective followers demonstrate—exploring the associations among perceptions of effective followership, self-regulation, and intercultural communication competence. This study examines whether self-regulation and co-cultural competence are characteristics of effective followership. Followership scholars suggest that followership research should develop followership characteristics based on variables focusing on the perceptions of followers in relation to leaders (Uhl-Bien, Riggio, Lowe, & Carsten, 2014). As such, the present study examines perceptions of both leader and follower participants in an online survey. The results of this study reveal that self-regulation and co-cultural competence are characteristics that effective followers demonstrate. Moreover, followers perceive emotion regulation to be an important characteristic of followership effectiveness; however, leaders do not share this perspective. The results of this study also indicate that there is no difference between leaders and followers co-cultural competence abilities. Theoretical implications and future directions are discussed.