Followership as an identity enactment

Anders Rasmussen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This research attempts to expand on our knowledge of how follower identities are socially enacted. In light of the problematization that followers in the academic and public literature have been given the role as an object of the leaders’ influence, the aim is to explore how followership can be explained. The theoretical perspective is constructed from a combination of identity and enactment theory, within the realm of organizational sensemaking. The research is empirically founded in the qualitative traditions by interviewing team members of a highly specialized and diversified team at the Danish company Novo Nordisk. The analysis and conclusion show how the follower identity is placed amidst a multitude of identities, identity work and enactments that all influence how the individual understands ‘who am I as a follower?’. This flux of influencers is argued not to make follower identity a fragile construction, but as it strives in spite of this, follower identity is a stable, anchored identity.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages78