Marie-Hélène Budworth

Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, specializing in learning, development & motivation.

Marie-Hélène Budworth


June 4th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

What a busy month?  I have been teaching, travelling, and working away on revisions for potential publications.  The invitations to revise submissions hasvebeen exciting.  Hopefully these papers will appear in print soon.

In spite of all of this work, I agreed to step in at the last minute to act as an examiner at a PhD defence.  This is an exciting and anxiety inducing moment for a doctoral candidate.  In this case, it was a celebration rather than a gruelling, difficult trial. 

The student, Thomas Medcoff, conducted a mainly qualitative study about followership.  He argued that the leadership literature has focussed on leaders and the leaders’ perspective and, as a result, largely ignored the perspective of followers.  His dissertation asked people who work with leaders what it means to be a good follower.  His study was exploratory; designed to develop a follower prototype – similar to the leadership prototypes that we all hold.  He took personality and culture into account within his analysis.  His sample consisted of MBA students from Canada and from India. 

In my mind, one of the most interesting findings was related to his use of a modified Response Latency technique.  Response Latency is where the researcher measure the time it takes for a respondent to answer a given question.  The time lag indicates how familiar the individuals is with the target within the question.  If they respond quickly, there is high familiarity.  If they respond slowly, there is low familiarity.  In Medcoff’s study, he asked people to provide an example of a strong leader.  Individuals from India responded more quickly to this question than respondents from Canada.  Ironically, in a few cases, the Canadian respondents provided an example from India’s national culture – Ghandi.  When asked to provide a purely Canadian example, the Canadian respondent could not find one.  What does that say about leadership in Canada?  Yikes.


No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.