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Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans’ Understanding of Followership and Following in the Civilian Workplace

June, 2019
Article:

This article explores transition from the military to civilian workplace, using the followership phenomenon defined as: the actions of a subordinate in a workplace. 6 veterans were interviewed who all defined the word followership through their own lenses.  The research analysis identified five themes: (a) my identities (b) organizational principles, (c) organizational knowledge, (d) organizational support, (e) and valuing of supporters. The findings can provide policymakers and organizational leaders data to plan training, coaching, and mentoring program

Abstract

Numerous service personnel who served during the US Afghanistan and Iraq Wars have returned to civilian life. The purpose of this phenomenology study was to examine and explore how these veterans understood the followership phenomenon, their civilian workplace follower roles, and how they defined the word followership through their own lenses. Six veterans who reintegrated from military service into a civilian workplace volunteered for this study. The research analysis identified five themes: (a) my identities (b) organizational principles, (c) organizational knowledge, (d) organizational support, (e) and valuing of supporters. The significance of these findings was the veterans’ follower-centric expression of their lived civilian followership experiences. The study afforded the veterans the opportunity to voice their desire to work in civilian organizations that provide a nurturing culture and environment where they can thrive and become effective followers. The findings can provide policymakers and organizational leaders data to plan training, coaching, and mentoring programs, peer-clubs, and services to express gratitude to veteran-followers as valuable members of the civilian workplace. The findings also provide scholars of Veterans Studies additional empirical data to enhance the knowledge base.

Full Reference

Caamal, N. (2019). Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans’ Understanding of Followership and Following in the Civilian Workplace. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(2), 159–179. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v4i2.104

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