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Leadership Implicit Followership Theories Research Paper


Organizational behaviour is a concept that studies the behaviour of humans in the organizational context. As such, the organizational behaviour is concerned with the conduct of the individuals, groups and organization as an entity. This paper seeks to discuss how the teams affect Leadership Implicit Followership Theories. Indeed, teams and individuals have critical effects on the LIFTs because the leadership of people is defined by individualism and groupings. Further, this paper will seek to understand whether the LIFTs affect the job satisfaction and the employee’s outcomes.

Factors of Organizational Behavior Influencing LIFT

As stated in the thesis statement, organizational individuals and team affect the LIFTs because people behave both at personal and group levels. With regards to the definitions;

Teams-In an organizational context, a team refers to a well-organized group of people who have a common objective to achieve (Sullivan, 2013). As such, departmental employees can form members of an organizational team. This is because the group has common objectives and works toward achieving it.

Individuals-These refer to the unit members of the organization. They hold various responsibilities in the organization and their commitment is supervised individually.

Overview of an Issue involved with the Subject

Indeed, LIFTs have been considered as leaders’ pre-existing perceptions and beliefs towards their subject’s personal characteristics in the organizational context. Indeed, the perceptions of leaders towards their followers’ characteristics are affected by the question of whether they work in teams of individually. As such, it becomes critical to understand how the perceptions change according to teamwork and individualism. Importantly, it is crucial to investigate whether the LIFTs affect the employees outcomes as well as the job satisfaction.

Key Terminologies for the Topic

Keywords: Teamwork, individuals, individualism, leaders, employees’ outcomes, job satisfaction, characteristics, and perceptions

Background Information

In essence, the pre-existing perceptions of the leaders towards the characteristics of their followers are critical issues to the performance of the organization (Durrant, 2006). The pre-existing perceptions arise from previous experiences or pre-judgments that might not have credible basis. In addition, these perceptions might arise from the conduct of the followers beyond the borders of the organization. As such, it becomes important to understand how this pre-existent perception can affect the employees’ satisfaction and outcomes in the organizations.

Leadership Implicit Follower Theory


A prototype is considered as an attribute where a leader has features that are possessed by most of his or her followers (Kortmann, 2012). As such, they are good role models in the organization because they can be used as examples. Whereas this is considered as an attribute of the leader, it can also prevail among employees. Some employees possess leadership-like attributes of self-drive and the capability to guide others. In that regard, if leaders have a perception that these employees are self-driven and they can act as prototypes, the employees’ outcomes can improve significantly.


In LIFTs, followership is crucial to the existence of the company because leaders are expected to provide policies that must be implemented. In that regard, followership is subject to the pre-existent perceptions of the leaders. In this case, leaders may have a perception concerning the proficiency of followers when it comes to their ability to follow directives and guidance from their leaders.

Self-awareness of the Influencer

The self-awareness of the leaders plays a critical role when it comes to the perceptions they have towards their followers. In this regard, self-awareness determines whether the leaders evaluate the validity of their perceptions. Understandably, if the perceptions are wrong due to limited experience with their subjects, the entire engagement can result to poor judgment.

Goals and Employee Outcomes

Indeed, the perceptions of the leaders towards their followers can be determined by the ability of the employees to fulfill the organizational goals. Indeed, this factor leads to two perceptions which include effectiveness and ineffectiveness. As such, when the employees do not achieve the organizational goals, the leaders can consider them as ineffective in nature.

When it comes to the employee outcomes, it is crucial to understand that the leaders’ perception can affect the relationship between the two parties. When the

Followership Expectation Gap

The expectations gap is probably one of the most significant factors that inform the leaders’ perceptions about the characteristics of the employees and other followers. When the employees do not meet the leaders’ expectations, the leaders get a certain perception towards their employees based on effectiveness. As such, the gap between the leaders’ standards and the outcomes of the employees forms the basis of making perceptions. In addition, the effect of these perceptions depends on whether the leader has negative or positive perceptions. If the perceptions are negative the relationship between the employee and the leader becomes poor. With a poor relationship, the output of the employee can reduce significantly due to the feeling that their inputs are not appreciated in the organization.

Influence of Leadership Strategy

McGregor Theory X & Y

In essence, LIFTs are extensions of the McGregor theory since the two theories share many aspects. As such, this theory describes employees in terms of two critical attributes (Xenikou & Furnham, 2013). The type-X individuals are lazy and they do not have passion for their jobs. Indeed, they do not have motivation and positive connection to their jobs in the organization. On the other hand, type-Y employees are highly positive, motivated, and productive in the organization. Indeed, the two perceptions require the leader to act differently towards the two employees. In this case, the managers are expected tp apply authority towards type-X employees in order to ensure productivity. On the other hand, type-Y employees are motivated and encouraged to even improve more.


Whereas an organization keeps away from personal judgments and assessments, personality is an essential attribute when it comes to performance. In this regard, leaders tend to classify their followers in term of their personal characteristics such as confidence and honesty. For example, honest employees evoke positive perceptions whereas truant ones lead to negative perceptions. Indeed, the negative perceptions lead to a poor working relationship and eventual reduction in the performance of the employee. On the other hand, the positive perception leads to good working relationships that in turn lead to high employee performance.


The connectionism-based orientation of leaders plays an important role when it comes to defining the perceptions of the leaders towards their employees. In this case, connectionists evaluate their leaders based on whether they have the capability of their employees to network with each other.

How People Make Decisions

When it comes to decision making, leaders are very sensitive to the manner in which employees make their decision. The proficiency of the employees to make decisions can lead to positive perceptions and hence a good working relationship. On the other hand, the poor decision makers are assigned less involving assignments since they are perceived to have very weak capability of decision making.

Misuse of Reciprocity

Preferring Right to Effective

In this case, leaders are mostly concerned with the effectiveness of the employees rather than their correctness. The leaders evaluate the employees’ capability to arise from a difficult situation while fulfilling the organizational goals.

Job Satisfaction

In this case, employees’ behavior is very sensitive to the job satisfaction. When employees are satisfied about their jobs, they portray good attributes towards the job and hence the positive perceptions from the leaders’ perceptions (Zeng & Luo, 2013). On the other hand, lack of satisfaction leads to negative perceptions from the employers’ perspectives. This reduces the outcome of the employees due to the probable poor relationship between the leaders and the followers.


Indeed, the commitment of the employees determines the perceptions of the leaders towards the employees (Bose & Faust, 2011). In this case, committed employees evoke positive perceptions in the mind of their supervisors and leaders. In fact, commitment is considered as one of the surest ways of reviving a poor relationship between an employee and the employer.

Future Research

This research has concentrated on the factors of organizational behavior that affect the LIFTs. However, there is the possibility to conduct further research in future in order to acquire more understanding in this field. In this case, future research should be meant to determine how the employees should use these factors to evoke positive perceptions. In addition, it should research on how leaders can ensure that their perceptions are correct and they are used for the best performance of the organization as a whole


Practical Implications

There are several practical implications derived from this research and the various issues it addresses. First, it is evident that employees conduct evokes some perceptions from the side of the employer. As such, the employee/followers should make sure that their conduct does not lead to negative perceptions. In addition, it was indicated that the perception of the leaders toward the employees defines the relationship between the two parties. As such, it is important to maintain good conduct in order to ensure good relationship and hence maintain high outcome.

Restatement of Thesis

In the thesis statement, it was indicated that the teams and individualism are some the factors of organizational behavior that affect LIFTs. However, it has been discovered that there are essentially many aspects of organizational behavior that affect LITFs. In essence, some of these aspects include employees’ commitment, personality, leaders’ self-awareness and goals among others (Howell, 2013).

Brief Summary of Main Points

This research makes various critical findings with regards to its objectives as stipulated in the introduction. First, the research indicates that there are various factors of organizational behavior that affects LIFTs but they are manifested in teams or individuals. Second, the research indicates that the perceptions which leaders posses towards their followers affect their relationships. Lastly, the research discovered that these perceptions affect the outcomes of the employees and their satisfaction at work.

Statement of the Consequences

It is indicated that the perception of the leaders towards their followers affects the outcome of the employees and job satisfaction. As such, when the employees fail to evoke positive perceptions the relationship between the followers and the leaders becomes poor.

Clincher Statement

The leaders’ perceptions towards their employees are determined by how employees conduct themselves when they participate in team or act individually. As such, all other aspects of organization behavior, such as commitment and personality, must be evaluated from the teamwork or individual conduct.


Bose, R., & Faust, L. (2011). Unexpected Principles for Practical Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Web.

Durrant, J. (2006). Teachers Leading Change Doing Research for School Improvement. London: Paul Chapman. Web.

Howell, J. (2013). Snapshots of Great Leadership. New York: Routledge. Web.

Kortmann, S. (2012). The Relationship between Organizational Structure and Organizational Ambidexterity a Comparison between Manufacturing and Service Firms. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler. Web.

Sullivan, E. (2013). Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. Web.

Xenikou, A., & Furnham, A. (2013). Group Dynamics and Organizational Culture: Effective Work Groups and Organizations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Web.

Zeng, K., & Luo, X. (2013). Impact of Ownership Type and Firm Size on Organizational Culture and on the Organizational Culture Effectiveness Linkage. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 23(13), 596-611. Web.

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