Brooke Lubin Dissertation Final Defense

The College of Education, Health and

Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

Brooke Bennett Lubin

for the degree of

Doctor of Education

July 2nd, 2015 at 2:30

123 Ball Hall, University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

Biographical Sketch

Bachelor of Arts, Economics, The University of Texas

Masters of Science, Secondary Education, The University of Memphis

Advisory Committee

Larry McNeal, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Leadership. Committee chair

Louis A. Franceschini III, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership

Reginald L. Green, Ed.D., Professor, Department of Leadership

Charisse Gulosino, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership

Major Field of Study

Educational Leadership

Period of Preparation: 2009 – 2015

Comprehensive Examination Passed: October 2013

Principals as Leaders of Teacher-Followers: An Exploratory Analysis of High School Teachers’ Followership Style and Motivations



Decades of research suggest that leadership holds the reins of an organization. More current research, however, identifies followers as possessing the primary influence within an organization, not leadership. This study takes a follower-centric approach to leadership by surveying and analyzing high school teachers’ followership styles and corresponding motivations to inform principal-leaders. Differentiation of leadership styles builds capacity for enhancement of interdependence and interrelations among the educational environment between teacher-followers and principal-leaders. Specifically, affiliation, autonomy, dominance and achievement are the dominant motivators from which the teacher-followers were categorized, and those motivators were correlated with followership styles as alienated, conformist, pragmatist, passive, and exemplary.

This study quantitatively examines teacher-follower followership styles and motivations from survey item analysis and comparisons between groups. The results of item means, standard deviations, and statistics revealed that despite having a sample of 145 respondents that was skewed by style of followership, with far too many “Exemplary” followers than the instrument norms would suggest, links were observed between a respondents’ dominant style, their age categorized, and such age-related concerns as years of teaching and years of formal education. Across all types of teacher-followers, the need for Achievement was most pronounced, followed by the need for Autonomy. Compared to these two needs, those for Affiliation and Dominance were significantly less in evidence, but neither of the latter two needs was more or less in evidence than the other. Across groups, “Exemplary” followers express more need for Achievement, Affiliation, and Dominance, but not more need for Autonomy.

Understanding teacher-followers’ followership styles and motivations can be used as a framework for assisting principal-leaders in recognizing what leadership styles might appropriately motivate teachers within their school.

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