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16th Annual Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference

Followership: An Outmoded Concept
LUNCH 12:00 p.m., LECTURE 12:30 p.m.

Joseph C. Rost, a distinguished scholar in leadership studies, argues that thinking of followership as a separate process from leadership is essentially an industrial concept that is outmoded and unacceptable in a postindustrial age. The idea that there is a separate process called followership is contrary to the basic assumptions and essential values of the postindustrial society.

According to Rost, the word follower is also a concept that is troubling within the context of leadership studies, and much of the time people use it in a very traditional and old-fashioned way. In spite of the attempt by some scholars and practitioners to add assumptions and values to the word such transformation is not going to happen in the postindustrial era, as the concept of follower is antithetical to the basic assumptions and values of the postindustrial society. Professor Rost will suggest some ways out of the follower problem.

Joseph Rost is a professor emeritus of leadership studies at the University of San Diego in San Diego, CA where he was a professor of leadership from 1976 to 1996. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he specialized in the politics of education.

After his retirement in 1996, Rost collaborated with several graduates and doctoral students in leadership studies at USD to inaugurate the Institute for the Advancement of Leadership. He served as Executive Director of this nonprofit corporation until it stopped operations in 1999.

RostÂ’s first book, Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, published in 1991 by Praeger, is one of the most quoted books about leadership in print. He is presently working on a second edition of the work.