Strong, R., & Williams, J. (2014). Understanding Students as Followers: Discovering the Influence of Followership Style on Self-Directed Learning. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(2), 201-213. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.02201



The leader has typically been the myopic center of studies involving leadership on the collegiate level. However, that does not give a holistic picture of leadership as a phenomenon. Understanding the relational, influential, and often-reciprocal roles of followers, known as followership, is essential in reaching organizational goals. Understanding the relationship between followership and learning will aid the leader in creating effective followers. The purpose of this study was to assess undergraduate students' levels of followership and self-directed learning in agricultural leadership courses at Texas A&M University. Of the respondents (n = 166), followership styles indicated students were more engaged, but less likely to be critical thinkers and the less self-directed students were more likely to be dependent followers with less critical thinking capacity. Faculty who not only understand their students as learners and followers but utilize strategies to improve their students' learning can produce followers who will have a positive impact on agricultural organizations.

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