Squadron Leader Sal Knox recently presented her study on High-Reliability Followership in the Military at the 21st European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) Conference in Katowice, Poland. The EAWOP conference serves as a platform for academics from around the world to share their research on people, work, and organisations. Sal's attendance was made possible by a research grant from the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, which has generously supported her research endeavours.

Sal’s research focuses on the significance of engaged followers who go beyond the minimum requirements of their roles and demonstrate a deep understanding of their tasks. These followers consistently come up with innovative approaches to complete their duties. Sal embarked on this research journey while serving as an Electronic Warfare Officer in 2020, driven by her curiosity about why military personnel consistently strive for, and mostly achieve, near-perfect task completion.

Presenting her findings at the EAWOP conference provided Sal with an opportunity to contribute to the field of social identity theorising and High-Reliability Organisations research. She participated in an invited symposium alongside Prof. Alex Haslam from The University of Queensland, Dr. Megan Birney from Staffordshire University in England, and Dr. Fergus Neville from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Collaborating with leading organisational psychologists allowed Sal to represent the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and share her research insights. By emphasising the significance of followership, her study challenges prevailing notions and encourages further exploration of the relationship between leaders and followers. These findings have the potential to reshape leadership development and enhance organisational effectiveness in various contexts.

Sal's research represents a step forward in understanding the dynamics of effective followership in military settings. By shedding light on the crucial role followers play in achieving high reliability, her study contributes to a broader understanding of organisational psychology. These insights have the potential to inform leadership development strategies and improve overall organisational performance.