Small-Group Leader Assignment: Effects Across Different Degrees of Task Interdependence

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Date

1997-06-24

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Virginia Tech

Abstract

The use of teams and work groups in organizations has become increasingly more popular in the last decade. Within each of these groups, a leadership role must be filled in order for the team to achieve its task. This study posited that the method by which the leader comes into this role may have a direct impact on the group's performance and its perceptions of the group's interpersonal processes and efficiency, satisfaction with the group, satisfaction with the group output, and support for the leader. In addition, the influence of leader assignment was expected to change based on the level of interdependence required by the task. One hundred forty-eight subjects were assigned to one of four conditions in a 2X2 design (appointed vs. elected leaders X high vs. low interdependence task), and were asked to fill out a questionnaire upon completion of their task. Results found that the higher level of interdependence was significantly related to more favorable ratings of Perceived Group Efficiency ( F =6.89, p <.05) and Satisfaction with Group Output ( F =7.69, p <.05). Possible limitations and future research opportunities are addressed.

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Keywords

Legitimacy, Teams, Groups, Task, Leader, Assignment

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