Employeeship concept: An interactive model of work relationships focused on leader and follower behaviors

Johan Bertlett, Curt R Johansson, Marcus Arvidsson

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The purpose is to present a theoretical model of the concept employeeship. Employeeship concerns all employees and covers the vertical perspective of work behaviors and relationships between formal leaders and followers, and the horizontal perspective between co-workers on all organizational levels. This enables the study of both formal and informal leadership, authentically recognizing that all employees are possible leaders and that leadership emerges in the relationship between one leading and one following. Employeeship attempts to bridge some of the gap in the literature between leader and follower perspectives and is defined as the behavior that constitutes the dynamic process of mutual work relationships between two or more employees based on task and social abilities. The Employee-Leader-Relationship Model illustrates the reciprocity between the employee perspective in employeeship, depicted on a continuum from low to highly developed task and social abilities, and the leader perspective in employeeship, depicted as task- and relation-oriented leadership. The operationalization of the Model measures expected leader and peer-employee behaviors as two discrete factors, and interactive leader-follower behaviors which is a factor based on the responses from both formal leaders and followers. Hence, there are two measures but three perspectives: top-down leader, bottom-up follower-employee, and horizontal peer-employee, and three factors important for the employeeship concept: leader, peer-employee, and the congruence of leader-follower behaviors. Dependent of the analysis made the employee measure is labeled peer-employee in the discrete factor and follower-employee in the leader-follower factor due to the shifting perspectives. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn employeeship model and its relation to psychological climate: A study of congruence in the behavior of leaders and followers
EditorsJohan Bertlett
PublisherDepartment of Psychology, Lund University
ISBN (Print)978-91-978718-8-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The document that is uploaded in full text on Lund University Publications contain some smaller revisions compared to the version published in the book/dissertation.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology

Free keywords

  • leadership
  • employeeship
  • psychological climate
  • leader-follower behavior
  • ELR Model


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