The Courageous Followership Behavior（CFB）means that followers are courageous to build up good interdynamic relations with leaders, take responsibility, serve, challenge, change and take moral action（leave）for the purpose of reaching organizational goals. CFB plays a role in supervising, regulating, and restraining the toxic leadership, furthermore, it is also a key point for organizations to find success. Considering there does exist CFB in Chinese context,and the cultural differences between China and the West, we deem it necessary to implement the related studies for the sake of practical application and theory development.This paper reviews the English literature on CFB from 1995 to 2018, compares CFB with Positive Deviance/Voice Behavior/Proactive Behavior/other Active Followership Behaviors.We find that previous studies mainly focus on the relationship between follower behaviors and levels within an organization, the relationship existed between leadership styles/organizational culture/industry and followership styles, the relationship between the supervisor’s satisfaction with an employee’s performance and CFB. The researcher’s work show that Courageous Followers assist leaders and organizations in getting to goals by taking the moral high ground. Beyond that, the CFB theory provides a comprehensive explanation and description of followers, follower behaviors, and followership. Again, the antecedents and outcome variables of CFB are analyzed and summarized in this study, and the pathway of CFB is given from the perspectives of philosophy/psychology/organizational behavior. When followers feel a challenging situation such as a workplace error, an abuse of power,or someone in need, they will engage in courageous actions or give up after careful deliberation. By analyzing the mediating effect of leadership/LMX and the moderating effect of circumstance factors, we find that CFB has two-blade function for organizations, leaders and followers themselves. In the end, the future directions in CFB research are prospected as belows: Dimension and measurement of CFB in the Chinese context. Most foreign scholars use the Followership Profile, an instrument developed by Dixon（2003）. Due to the rare study on CFB in China, domestic scholars have a big part to play, such as improving the scale, examining the dimensions, or carrying out empirical research through interviews, measurements and questionnaire methods. Two-side effect and adaptability of CFB. Given that humans have an adaptive followership psychology which enables them to make a favorable choice, and the effect of courageous action will have a marked impact on other individuals, it will be interesting and meaningful to build a map of CFB paths within Chinese organizations through positive studies. Cross-cultural applicability. The preponderance of research and literature on followership has been focused on North American and European culture. We suggest some attempts at comparative research across national/cultural boundaries and relevant assessments of followership styles/growth paths by using Boccialetti’s （1995）instrument, which is organized around the study of distance, deference, and divergence in authority relations. To sum up, the research on CFB in China will not only enrich the Followership Theory and the Workplace Courage Theory, but also contribute to personal career development and organizations developing courageous followers.
The Courageous Followership Behavior: A literature Review and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 41, Issue 09, pp. 47 - 60 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20190603.002
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Cite this article
Cao Yuankun, Zhou Qing, Liu Shanshi, et al. The Courageous Followership Behavior: A literature Review and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2019, 41(9): 47-60.