Research suggests that 21st century organizations are calling for an emphasis on exemplary followers, those who actively engage and think critically and independently (Kelley, 1992), at a time when organizations are becoming flatter, leaner, and geographically dispersed. Technology advancements have enabled employees to work remotely with minimal supervision, changing traditional leadership paradigms and requiring organizational leaders to focus more attention on followership and follower development. Home-based teleworkers experience challenges and emotional stressors related to communicating via technology, feeling isolated, and working longer hours (Baruch, 2000), possibly hindering followers to engage and to think independently, which are essential skills for success in the virtual environment. This study addressed the neglected area of followership, specifically in the area of home-based teleworkers, by examining the relationships between the followership dimensions of engagement and critical, independent thinking using the Followership Questionnaire (Kelley, 1992) and emotional intelligence using the EQ-i 2.0 (Bar-On, 1997). The research discovered that home-based teleworkers who indicated a higher total emotional intelligence score also reported higher engagement and critical thinking scores. Statistically significant correlations were found between followership engagement and three of the five emotional intelligence scales, including self-perception, interpersonal, and stress management. In addition, statistically significant correlations were found between followership critical thinking and three of the five emotional intelligence scales, including self-perception, self-expression, and decision-making. This study provides a framework for followership development, which could enhance the relationships between leaders and followers within a virtual environment.
|Advisor:||Drury, Sharon L.|
|Commitee:||Poff, Daniel W., Rajanayakam, John|
|School:||Indiana Wesleyan University|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||EQ-i 2.0, Emotional intelligence, Followership, Followership questionnaire, Home-based work, Teleworkers|
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