Construction of followership identity among Kenyan teachers

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Industrial and Commercial Training


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a discussion on the construction of followership identity among teachers in Kenya which has had less attention. Further, as Kenya is currently implementing a new education curriculum (competency-based curriculum) which requires teachers to be more proactive in their work, an understanding of how they construct their followership identity in schools is paramount, as this is linked to the attainment of learning outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Symbolic interactionism theory, which suggests that individuals respond to phenomena based on the meaning they give such phenomena and through interactions with others, has been used to support arguments in this paper. This theory is relevant to this paper, as it helps in understanding the meaning that teachers give to ‘followership’ through interactions with others in their schools. Findings – The arguments in the current paper suggest that as Kenyan teachers interact with colleagues, their meaning of ‘followership’ is defined and refined. The resulting identity is important for these teachers, especially as they embrace the new curriculum in the country which requires them to be more proactive, unlike the previous one. Research limitations/implications – As this is a conceptual paper, there is no empirical data to ground validate the arguments given. Originality/value – The use of symbolic interactionism in the discussion of this paper adds another dimension to the followership and identity construction among followers. Much of the literature has focused on followership in general but not fromthe lens of symbolic interactionism.


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Kenya Teachers, Symbolic interactionism, Followership identity


Bett, H. K., Nguru, F., & Kiruhi, T. M. (2020). Construction of followership identity among Kenyan teachers. Industrial and Commercial Training, 53(2), 157–165.