Leadership style and role differentiation as determinants of group effectiveness1


  • 1

    This research was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts The author wishes to thank Ivan Steiner, Samuel Himmelfarb, and George Levinger for their criticisms of an earlier version of the manuscript and Marilyn Bresler for her contribution as a research assistant during the data analysis


All-male and all-female groups discussed a case history and provided a statement of their analysis of the case The relationship between leadership style, as measured by Fiedler's Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) instrument, and task effectiveness (quality of the statement) was investigated for both the top task contributor and the best-liked member of the group LPC of the top task contributor did not relate to task effectiveness. In the role-differentiated groups, LPC of the best-liked member related positively to task effectiveness in the male groups (p < .05) and negatively in the female groups (p < .01) For the male groups, questionnaire data were consistent with the interpretation that the relationship between LPC of the best-liked member and task effectiveness was mediated by the ability of the high-LPC best-liked member to reduce interpersonal tension that interfered with task effectiveness. LPC of die best-liked member of the female groups was related to intermember attraction LPC did not affect role recruitment.