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Zaleznik's follower typology

 

Disciplines > Leadership > Followership > Zaleznik's follower typology

Impulsive | Compulsive | Masochistic | Withdrawn | See also

 

Harvard professor Abraham Zaleznik described an early model of followership, base on the two dimensions of submission vs. control and activity vs. passivity. These were based in Zaleznik's Freudian perspective.

Controlling followers want to control their superiors, whilst submissive followers want to be told what to do. Active followers initiate and intrude, whilst passive ones sit back and let things happen.

 

 

 

Dominance
(controlling)

 

Active
mode of behavior

 

Impulsive

 

Compulsive
 

Masochistic

 

Withdrawn
Passive
mode of behavior
 

Submission
(being controlled)

 

 

Impulsive

Impulsive followers are often rebellious, trying to lead whilst being led. They are sometimes spontaneous and
courageous.

Compulsive

Compulsive followers want to dominate their leaders, but hold themselves back. They typically feel guilty about their compulsive tendencies.

Masochistic

Masochistic want to submit to the control of the authority figure, even though they feel discomfort in doing so. In this way they gain pleasure from being dominated.

Withdrawn

Withdrawn followers care very little or not at all about what happens at work and consequently take little part in work activities other than doing the minimum necessary to keep their jobs.

See also

Psychoanalysis

Zaleznik, A. (1965), The Dynamics of Subordinacy, Harvard Business Review, May-Jun 1965

 

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