Following authentically in the the UK public sector: The importance of visibility, value and voice

Morris, Rachael (2015) Following authentically in the the UK public sector: The importance of visibility, value and voice. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores processes of following in the UK public sector, and sheds light on individuals’ experiences of following authentically. It addresses calls for extending understandings of followership and, informed by the empirical data, adds to models of authentic followership.

By taking a relational constructionist perspective, the thesis focuses on processes of following, recognising these as on going and as occurring in relation to multiple others and within multiple contexts. This study adopts a follower-focused approach, placing followers as the central focus of the study both theoretically and methodologically. The thesis develops links between the theoretical areas of followership and employee voice, to problematise and inform, through the study’s emergent findings, contemporary understandings of authentic following.

This qualitative study employed a multiple-method research design consisting of interviews, visual research diaries and photo-elicitation interviews. Through this, participants shared their experiences and, through the design’s staged and reflexive approach, gave descriptions and understandings of their current and past experiences of engaging in following. Thematic analysis was utilised to interpret the data and the findings, across the multiple data sources and data types, were presented thematically.

The use of multiple and visual based data collection methods, which is claimed as a methodological contribution to the followership field, provides rich insights into the lived experiences of individuals doing following and, particularly, highlights the importance of visibility, value and voice, within an overarching theme of agency. Processes of following in this thesis are thus conceptualised as individuals acting independently and having choice in the ways that they engage in following, whilst also recognising the structures in which they are located. The thesis proposes a new framework for following authentically, highlighting the complex ways in which visibility, value and voice interact.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N100 Business studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 15:37
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 10:03
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36009

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