The Power of the Follower: the Arab Spring and Social Media

Topics: Leadership, Case study, Social media Pages: 21 (6030 words) Published: March 26, 2013
MBL 921-S Leadership Assignment II

Group Member Student Number Contribution
Addison, B. 7078-516-3 100%
Bheamadu, A 3285-589-3 100%
Deonarain, N 7288-417-7 100%
Deshmukh, A 7136-472-2 100%
Jooste, D L 7276-682-4 100%
Mahura, S 7300-632-7 100%
Mavimbela, R 7294-314-9 100%
Mnube, M 3326-099-0 100%
Singh, Yashin 3667-383-8 100%
Nkosi, N 7308-888-9100%
Singh, Yeshvir 7308-490-5 100%
Thuntsane, E 7294-747-0 100%
Mulder, R7303-318-9100%
Mkwanazi, S7288-373-1100%


This assignment delves into the changing socio-dynamic landscape given the growing rate of mobile and IT connectivity as well as the growing number of users on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and the like. The recent political uprisings on the African continent have hinted towards the use of social media tools to bring about socio-political change and either directly or indirectly challenge the leadership status quo.

Many have refuted the claims of the impact of social media during the uprisings, such as Malcolm Gladwell who dismisses the relevant importance the media, academics and thought leaders have placed on its ability to influence leader behaviour or bring about any meaningful change (, 2010). However, the contrary views outweigh Gladwell’s views and, in our opinion, bare consideration. According to Fleishman (2003) “leadership is an attempt at influencing the activities of followers to willingly cooperate through the communication process toward the attainment of some goals.” The traditional view of leadership is its ability to influence follower behaviour. Thus, this assignment aims to explore the role of neo-social dynamics (social media) to influence leader behaviour, i.e. follower upward management of leaders.

The assignment begins with a case study to determine social media’s impact in Africa, contextualized but not limited to the Egyptian uprisings. It then proceeds to propose an alternative mind-map developed in assignment 1 and concludes with the development of an HR value proposition to generalize a leadership model for use by organizations.


1.| The Case Study| 4|
| 1.1 The Purpose of the Study| 4|
| 1.2 Background of the Study| 5|
| 1.3 Significance of the Study| 5|
| 1.4 Research Methodology| 6|
| 1.4.1 Theoretical Framework| 6|
| 1.4.2 Data Collection| 7|
| 1.4.3 Research Hypothesis| 7|
| 1.4.4 Key Research Questions| 7|
| 1.5 Conclusion| 10|
| 1.6 References| 11|
2.| Integration of the Case study Findings| 12|
| 2.1 Introduction| 12|
| 2.2 Assignment 1: Overview of the Leadership Model| 12| | 2.3 Leadership Mind Map Recommendation| 14|
| 2.4 Conclusion| 18|
3.| The HR Value Proposition| 19|
| 3.1 Definition| 19|
| 3.2 HR Value Proposition Objectives| 20|
| 3.3 A Systemic HR Mental Model| 20|
| 3.4 Organisation Challenges Proposed| 21|
| 3.5 Business Implications| 22|
| 3.6 The HR Value Proposition- Application| 22|
| 3.7 Conclusion| 25|
| 3.8 References ( section 2 and 3)| 26|


1.1Purpose of the Study
Social media is a popular term to describe a variety of media tools that is suggested to have played an important role in recent political revolutions. In the recent events in North Africa, the role of social media has been best characterized as an enabler, facilitating rallies and galvanizing participants. Despite limited access to the Internet and limited freedom of expression and information, social media penetration is on the increase in Africa. Social networks are spoken of in villages, schools, and fast-growing cities where the middle classes are now demanding access to quick information (Mariéme Jamme, 2011). In the mid-1990s, as the use of...
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