- Graduate Teaching Assistant
Natalie Harreld is a PhD student at the African Leadership Centre. She is investigating how social media is changing how leaders and followers interact.
She holds a BA degree in Environment, Economics, and Politics from Claremont McKenna College (USA) and a MSc in Leadership and Development from King’s.
Thesis title: 'Uploading leadership: An examination of leader-followership in the social era with reference to the 6th of January Capitol riot'
Natalie's research seeks to further develop the leadership literature to include a larger focus on followers and followership. Second, the research seeks to frame how our current period of internet-based interaction is changing the dynamic relationship between leaders and followers, or as the thesis terms it: the Social Era.
The central question put forward to tease out these goals is: how has social media challenged the way the follower-leader dynamic is understood?
The specific case study of the 6th of January Capitol Riot is derived from both questions. On 6th January 2021 the United States Capitol was stormed by a mob supporting the outgoing US President Donald Trump attempting to ensure he remain in office, resulting in the delay of the peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to another for the first time in modern US history.
The main issue being investigated in Natalie’s work is the role of online spaces played in the events that unfolded before, on, and after the 6th of January Capitol Riot, and the ways in which leader-followership theory sheds lights on the events, and where the theoretical assumptions come up short.