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Dissertation Abstract

An Exploration of the Relationship of Leadership Styles and Dimensions of Courageous Followership

Rushton S. Ricketson, Sr.
April 2008

Followers provide new insights into the leader–follower relationship. This study explored the relationship of the transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style, and laissez-faire leadership style with five dimensions of courageous followership: (a) courage to assume responsibility, (b) courage to serve, (c) courage to challenge, (d) courage to participate in transformation, and (e) courage to take moral action. Leadership styles were measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ; Bass & Avolio, 1995). Dimensions of courageous
followership were measured by The Follower Profile (Dixon, 2003). The literature has implied, but has not explicitly stated, that a relationship exists between leadership styles and dimensions of courageous followership. This study collected data from a sample of 21 leaders and 80 followers in five different, nationally known quick-service restaurants. Each leader received a score on transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style, and laissez-faire leadership style. Each follower received a score on the five dimensions of courageous followership. Bivariate correlation analysis indicated a significant negative correlation with the laissez-faire leadership style and the courage to participate in transformation. Also, canonical correlation analysis determined a minimal relationship between the three leadership styles and the five dimensions of courageous followership. This finding suggests that courageous followers behave according to their own characteristics regardless of the leadership style of the leader. The results of this study further the research related to dimensions of courageous followership and how the leader–follower relationship is impacted by courageous followers.