Published: 2021-09-13 08:10:09
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The findings from this cross-sectional study on 27 corporate employees reveal relationships between leader and follower leadership behaviors and follower identity with the leader. A positive relationship was found between the leaders' follower-centered leadership and followers' follower-centered leadership, and the leaders' capable manager leadership and followers' capable manager leadership. Furthermore, associations reveal that identification with the leader is positively related to the leaders' self-confidence leadership, leaders' follower-centered leadership, and leaders' capable manager leadership. The results did not support the hypothesized role of follower identification with the leader as a moderator between leader self-confident leadership, follower-centered leadership, and capable manager leadership, and the followers' leadership behaviors in the same domains. Visionary leadership and follower identification in research and practice are discussed.
This paper has demonstrated that Burke's literal and Goffman's metaphorical dramaturgical approaches can provide fresh and complementary insights into to the dynamics of leader- follower relations. Burke's literal perspective encourages the researcher to concentrate on the intrinsically theatrical and dramaturgical nature of leader-follower relations as the focal point of analysis. Burke's viewpoint is, therefore, useful in appreciating and reflecting on the world that we inhabit.
On the other hand, Goffman's symbolic approach, in theorizing leader behavior as a sequence of 'performances' by leaders for followers, has brought to the forefront issues of leader-authenticity and morality. Caution must be exercised when conducting dramaturgically based research. Burke has warned that, such an oversimplified interpretation of the multifaceted and plural character of the identification process can provide nothing but a 'terministic screen'. Following Gusfield's assertion, we admit that the preceding discussion has, to a certain extent, "reduced the complex to the simple; the impure to the pure". For instance, leadership theorists would point that we have not adequately differentiated between personalized and socialized identification. Neither have we discussed trust and empowerment as outcomes of this relationship. In being open to the Burkean logic but closed to others, we recognize that our discussion has presented a "selective questioning attitude". In being reminded that "every theory illuminates as well as hides", we recognize that Burke's inspired view of leadership as 'hierarchy' and 'order' is adequate only as a rudimentary system. It is possible that Burkean inquiry might only be relevant to leadership founded on 'inequality' and could be inappropriate for understanding post-heroic leadership dynamics. We would, therefore, invite future research to explore this proposition. However, given that, heroic leadership continues to be celebrated as leadership is increasingly recognized as managing the "hopes, fears and aspirations" or as "managing the insides", we assume that leaders are going to be increasingly influenced to forge a common platform with their followers through identification. In light of this assumption, we recommend that future theory and research should emphasize the motives that bind leader-follower identification. More specifically, it is recommended to limit describing transformational leadership as a process in which both the leader and followers rise to higher levels of motivation and 'morality' (Burns, 1978). Following similar logic, we concur with Gardner that "it is critical that organizational members recognize various impression management tactics and the motives behind them, thus becoming intelligent and discriminating actors and audiences in the daily drama". In turn we would invite leadership researchers to pay greater attention to the dynamics of identity regulation and explore how power

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