Vesna Stojanovic Aleksic

Faculty of Economics, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, The Republic of Serbia

Despite the fact that most of the theories and models of leadership are solely focused on the leader as the central figure of the leadership process, there is a need to draw attention to the importance of the followers’ role in the organizational leadership process, which is the main subject of this paper. Newer approaches to leadership provide a framework for the study of a reciprocal influence in the leadership process, in which the behavior of the leader appears as both an independent and a dependent variable at the same time. The aim is to draw attention to the necessity of adjusting leadership styles to the characteristics of the followers and encourage the followers’ active role in leadership, as the basic precondition for the effectiveness of the entire leadership process. The paper reviews the evolution of the role of the followers in organizational leadership through various approaches and models of leadership, from the attribution of potential leadership qualities through the process of attribution, through the followers’ influence in the selection of the dominant leadership style, to the equal participation in the leadership process, reflected in the concepts of servant leadership and shared leadership.

Keywords: organization, leadership, followers, leadership process, organizational behavior

JEL Classification: L26, D23, O31, M13

Economic Horizons, 2016, Vol. 18, No 2, pp. 135-148; Published online 26 August 2016; doi: 10.5937/ekonhor1602139S
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