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The present study examined the process of shared leadership in 45 ad hoc decision-making teams. Each team member's leadership behavior (n = 180) was assessed by behaviorally coding videotapes of the teams' discussions. The within-team patterns of leadership behavior were examined using cluster analysis. Results indicated that the likelihood of a team experiencing a full range of leadership behavior increased to the extent that multiple team members shared leadership, and that teams with shared leadership experienced less conflict, greater consensus, and higher intragroup trust and cohesion than teams without shared leadership. This study supports previous findings that shared leadership contributes to overall team functioning, and begins to delineate the extent to which team members may naturally share leadership.
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The Shared Leadership Process
in Decision-Making Teams
Jacqueline Z. Bergman a , Joan R. Rentsch b , Erika
E. Small c , Shaun W. Davenport d & Shawn M.
Bergman a
a Appalachian State University
b University of Tennessee
c Coastal Carolina University
d High Point University
Available online: 26 Oct 2011
To cite this article: Jacqueline Z. Bergman, Joan R. Rentsch, Erika E. Small, Shaun W.
Davenport & Shawn M. Bergman (2012): The Shared Leadership Process in Decision-
Making Teams, The Journal of Social Psychology, 152:1, 17-42
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The Journal of Social Psychology, 2012, 152(1), 17–42
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
The Shared Leadership Process in
Decision-Making Teams
JACQUELINE Z. BERGMAN
Appalachian State University
JOAN R. RENTSCH
University of Tennessee
ERIKA E. SMALL
Coastal Carolina University
SHAUN W. DAVENPORT
High Point University
SHAWN M. BERGMAN
Appalachian State University
ABSTRACT. The present study examined the process of shared leadership in 45 ad hoc
decision-making teams. Each team member’s leadership behavior (n=180) was assessed
by behaviorally coding videotapes of the teams’ discussions. The within-team patterns of
leadership behavior were examined using cluster analysis. Results indicated that the likeli-
hood of a team experiencing a full range of leadership behavior increased to the extent that
multiple team members shared leadership, and that teams with shared leadership experi-
enced less conflict, greater consensus, and higher intragroup trust and cohesion than teams
without shared leadership. This study supports previous findings that shared leadership
contributes to overall team functioning, and begins to delineate the extent to which team
members may naturally share leadership.
Keywords: decision making, shared leadership, team effectiveness
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH TEAM LEADERSHIP are often cited as
the primary reason for failures of team-based work (Avolio, Jung, Murry, &
Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Sinclair, 1992; Stewart & Manz, 1995). Because a single
Address correspondence to Jacqueline Z. Bergman, Appalachian State University,
Department of Management, Raley Hall, ASU Box 32089, Boone, NC 28608-2089, USA;
bergmanjz@appstate.edu (e-mail).
17
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18 The Journal of Social Psychology
appointed leader may be unlikely to exhibit all of the leadership behaviors nec-
essary for overall team effectiveness (Avolio et al., 1996; Barry, 1991; Pearce
& Manz, 2005), a team’s performance may depend on its ability to draw on the
leadership skills of its members (Katzenbach, 1997). Members must emerge as
leaders as they are needed, when their relevant skills, knowledge, and expertise
are required by the team. Therefore, in addition to the formal appointed lead-
ers that are frequently studied as leadership sources (Bass, 1990; Perry, Pearce,
& Sims, 1999; Yukl, 2010), the team itself is an important potential source of
leadership (e.g., Gronn, 2002).
Shared leadership occurs when two or more members engage in the leader-
ship of the team in an effort to influence and direct fellow members to maximize
team effectiveness (Carson, Tesluk, & Marrone, 2007; Pearce, 2004). Shared lead-
ership is an influence process that is multidirectional, dynamic, simultaneous, and
on-going (Ensley, Hmieleski, & Pearce, 2006; Fletcher & Kaufer, 2003; Friedrich,
Vessey, Schuelke, Ruark, & Mumford, 2009), and it is characterized by the “serial
emergence” of two or more members as leaders (Pearce, 2004, p. 48).
Although there has been disagreement and controversy surrounding the con-
struct of shared leadership and its performance benefits (see Locke, 2003; Pearce,
Conger, & Locke, 2008), empirical research suggests that shared leadership exists
in self-managing project teams and decision-making teams and is an impor-
tant predictor of team outcomes. Shared leadership has been found to relate to
self-ratings of team effectiveness (Avolio et al., 1996; Pearce, Yoo, & Alavi,
2004), manager and customer ratings of team effectiveness (Carson et al., 2007;
Pearce & Sims, 2002), objective team performance (Bowers & Seashore, 1966;
Mehra, Smith, Dixon, & Robertson, 2006), satisfaction (Avolio et al., 1996;
Bowers & Seashore, 1966), and problem solving quality (Pearce et al., 2004).
Additionally, studies on change management teams (Pearce & Sims, 2002), new
venture executive teams (Ensley et al., 2006), and virtual teams (Pearce et al.,
2004) demonstrated that shared leadership was a more important predictor of team
effectiveness than was traditional vertical leadership. These research findings are
encouraging and suggest the need for additional research on the topic.
With the notable exception of recent studies that employed a social network
approach (e.g., Carson et al., 2007; Mehra et al., 2006; Small & Rentsch, 2010),
shared leadership has been assessed using team member ratings of the extent to
which their team collectively performed various leadership behaviors (e.g., Avolio
et al., 1996; Ensley et al., 2006; Pearce & Sims, 2002). Although this type of
methodology is practical in field studies, it does not clearly demonstrate that two
or more team members are engaging in the team’s leadership (the very definition
of shared leadership).
Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to contribute to the shared
leadership research by: a) explicitly examining the number of team members
engaged in the team’s leadership; b) assessing through observation each mem-
ber’s actual leadership behavior; and c) to examine the relationship between
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Bergman et al. 19
shared leadership and intermediate team processes and emergent states. The use
of behavioral observation enabled a direct test of whether more than one team
member participated in the team’s leadership. In addition, it minimized common
method variance and avoided the biases associated with peer ratings of emergent
leadership (e.g., that the most talkative and well-liked members are perceived as
leaders; Jaffee & Lucas, 1969; Riggio, Riggio, Salinas, & Cole, 2003). Observing
and recording actual leadership behaviors permitted a direct examination of the
content and distribution of leadership behaviors that define shared leadership.
Leadership Behaviors
Several decades of research on leadership have found that effective lead-
ers use several specific types of behaviors (see Bass, 1990; Yukl, 2010). Yukl
(2010) offered a parsimonious classification of these types of leadership that
includes three broad categories of behavior: task-oriented, relations-oriented, and
change-oriented. In the present study, we examined each of these categories
of leadership behavior, and a fourth category, spanning, that is critical in team
settings (Sundstrom, De Meuse, & Futrell, 1990).
Initiating structure behaviors are task-oriented (Stodgill & Coons, 1957) and
are aimed at increasing efficiency and coordination among team members. When
initiating structure, leaders bring order to the team’s process by assigning tasks,
determining requirements, and clarifying priorities and standards (Barry, 1991;
Pearce & Sims, 2002). Initiating structure behaviors help groups progress toward
their goals, prevent members from veering off-task, and keep groups focused on
details and deadlines.
Consideration behaviors are relations-oriented (Stodgill & Coons, 1957) and
involve developing and maintaining the team’s socio-psychological functioning
(Barry, 1991; Perry et al., 1999). Such behaviors include being friendly, sup-
portive, respectful, and generally showing concern for others and their welfare.
Consideration behaviors help to surface each member’s needs, to interpret and
paraphrase others’ views, and to monitor the team’s energy levels and emo-
tional states. Consideration behaviors also include resolving conflicts, providing
encouragement, and ensuring that all members’ opinions are heard.
Envisioning behaviors are oriented toward change—i.e., improving strategic
decisions, adapting to change, increasing innovation, and fostering commitment
to visions and goals (Barry, 1991; Yukl, 2010). Envisioning leaders create new
and compelling visions that help to facilitate idea generation, define overall goals,
and encourage others to view issues in a different way. They draw others into the
envisioning process, and foster group ownership of central ideas.
Spanning behaviors are necessary for team effectiveness because teams have
boundaries between them and other organizational units that influence how a team
must operate within its organizational context in order to be effective (Sundstrom
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20 The Journal of Social Psychology
et al., 1990). Spanning behaviors that occur within the team help members to
develop a common understanding of the needs and demands of the team’s (and the
organization’s) external stakeholders (Zaccaro & Marks, 1999). Behaviors, such
as providing the team with reality checks and focusing attention on “political”
happenings that may affect the team, serve to continuously remind the team that
its product or decision must meet with external approval, thereby keeping the
needs and demands of external agents within the team’s sight.
In today’s organizations, where success depends on effectively integrating
the knowledge of skilled professionals in complex and ambiguous environments,
it is becoming increasingly unlikely that a single, vertical leader will possess
all of the knowledge, abilities, and skills required to fulfill all of the neces-
sary leadership roles (Carson et al., 2007; Day, Gronn, & Salas, 2004; Pearce
& Manz, 2005; Pearce, Manz, & Sims, 2009), thus, leadership responsibili-
ties should shift according to which member’s expertise is most relevant to the
task at hand (Friedrich et al., 2009). Additionally, each team member may be
more inclined toward one type of leadership behavior than others (Barry, 1991).
Previous research has supported the notion that different leader behaviors are
independent (see Yukl, 2010), suggesting that performing one type of leader
behavior does not guarantee being inclined to perform any other type. Thus, a
single individual may be unwilling and/or unable to fulfill all of the necessary
leadership tasks of the team.
However, shared leadership enables team members’ inclinations and abili-
ties to engage in certain leadership behaviors to compensate for and complement
each other (Bradford & Cohen, 1984). Thus, the team increases its probability
of capitalizing on its leadership capacity to the extent that more than one mem-
ber participates in leading the team. When multiple leaders emerge in a team, the
likelihood increases that more leadership behaviors will be performed.
Hypothesis 1: Teams with more than one member participating in the team’s
leadership will experience more types of leadership than teams with only one
(or no) members participating in the team’s leadership.
Shared Leadership and Team Functioning
The present study also examined the relationship between shared leader-
ship and intermediate team processes and emergent states, which, in terms of an
input-process-outcome model, may delineate how shared leadership impacts team
performance. With only a few exceptions (e.g., Avolio et al., 1996; Mehra et al.,
2006; Solansky, 2008), the research on shared leadership has focused primarily
on team performance and effectiveness. Examining intermediate team processes,
such as intragroup conflict and consensus-building, and emergent states, such as
trust, cohesion, and satisfaction, will contribute to our understanding of the effects
of shared leadership on teams and their performance.
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Bergman et al. 21
Intragroup conflict. Intragroup conflict consists of both a socio-emotional
dimension, involving interpersonal incompatibilities, and a task dimension,
involving disagreement about the content of the task itself. Socio-emotional con-
flict has been consistently associated with reduced productivity and satisfaction,
an inability to reach consensus, and decreased decision-making quality (De Dreu
& Weingart, 2003; De Dreu & Van Vianen, 2001). Regarding task conflict, a few
studies have found positive relationships with decision quality and performance
(e.g., Jehn, 1994; Jehn, 1995); however, the results of a meta-analysis show task
conflict to be negatively related to performance and satisfaction (De Dreu &
Weingart, 2003).
Misattributions by members regarding the intentions of others are thought
to be at the core of conflict (Mooney, Holahan, & Amason, 2007; Simons &
Peterson, 2000). Team members may interpret the very behaviors required to
integrate diverse ideas and make high quality decisions (e.g., scrutinizing and
challenging each other’s ideas and opinions) as personal criticisms or rejection
(Simons & Peterson, 2000). We propose that, when a member participates in the
team’s leadership, he/she is, in effect, demonstrating his/her commitment to the
team and its task. In turn, misattributions regarding that member’s intentions or
dedication to the team should be minimized. Fewer misattributions should result
in less intragroup conflict.
Moreover, as discussed above, as more members participate in the team’s
leadership, the likelihood increases that different types of leader behaviors will be
performed. One important task of leaders is to manage conflict in order to build
cohesion (Brown & Gioia, 2002) and to improve the quality of decisions (Kotlyar
& Karakowsky, 2007), but more than one type of leadership is needed for effec-
tive conflict management. For example, initiating structure behaviors are likely
needed to minimize conflict over roles or task procedures, but effective envision-
ing leadership is needed to resolve goal conflicts among team members. Thus,
as more members participate in the team’s leadership, a wider variety of leader
behaviors are performed, and the team should experience less conflict. Recent
research provides support for the idea that varying types of leader behavior are
necessary for effectively managing conflict (Doucet, Poitras, & Chenevert, 2009;
Kotlyar & Karakowsky, 2006).
Therefore, we expected that as the number of team members who participate
in the team’s leadership increases, the amount of conflict the team experiences
should decrease.
Hypothesis 2: Teams that engage in shared leadership will experience less
task and socio-emotional conflict than teams that do not engage in shared
leadership.
Consensus-building. In McGrath’s (1984) development of a typology of tasks,
decision-making tasks are those “for which there is not a demonstrably correct
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22 The Journal of Social Psychology
answer, and for which the group’s task is to select, by some consensus, a preferred
alternative” (p. 63). Team members, then, are not in search of an intrinsically
correct answer, so much as they are in search of consensus (McGrath, 1984).
Arguably, the core of the strategic decision-making process is consensus-building.
Team members must share and integrate diverse knowledge and perspectives,
and eventually reach agreement on the best course of action. While consensus
does not always directly relate to decision quality or effectiveness (e.g., West &
Schwenk, 1996), consensus among team members that the team’s final decision
is one that will benefit the company as a whole is typically a necessary condition
for successful implementation (Bourgeois, 1980; Dess, 1987; Priem, Harrison, &
Muir, 1995).
Suggestive of the role of shared leadership in consensus-building is the
proposition that shared leadership should aid teams in the development of a col-
lective vision, defined as the extent to which team members share a common
mental model of the organization’s strategy (Ensley, Pearson, & Pearce, 2003).
Ensley et al. (2003) argued that it is only logical that team members would have
a “greater understanding of something that they helped to create” (p. 336). We
believe that this would also hold true as team members work toward consensus.
When members share in the leadership of the team, each having influence over
other members and the team’s decisions, they become more deeply involved in
the team’s work, and are likely to better understand both the nature of the prob-
lem at hand and the reasons why one alternative was accepted and others rejected,
thus aiding the consensus-building process.
Pearce et al. (2004) demonstrated empirically in a sample of 28 virtual project
teams that shared leadership (leadership behavior engaged in by the team) was
more strongly related to members’ commitment to and confidence in the team’s
decision than was vertical leadership (leadership behavior engaged in by a single,
designated leader). These findings suggest that when more team members are
involved in the leadership of the team, members are more likely to understand
the reasons for the solution and be committed to its implementation. Thus, we
expected that shared leadership would be related to increased consensus among
team members.
Hypothesis 3: Teams that engage in shared leadership will have greater con-
sensus among members than teams that do not engage in shared leadership.
Intragroup trust. The process of sharing responsibility for the team’s leader-
ship should facilitate trust building among members. The prevailing view of trust
suggests that it develops through repeated interaction in which team members
demonstrate their trustworthiness through their behavior (Jones & George, 1998;
Zand, 1972). As team members demonstrate their willingness to share power and
responsibility, they are signaling their trust for one another (Zand, 1972), and
the resulting shared leadership behaviors would further solidify trust. Avolio and
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Bergman et al. 23
colleagues (1996) supported this proposition empirically in a longitudinal study
of student teams, finding that ratings of the teams’ collective leadership behaviors
were positively related to a combined measure of trust and cohesion.
This is also consistent with the concept of participative decision making
(PDM), which has been proposed to positively impact trust (Dirks & Ferrin,
2002). PDM involves supervisors sharing a significant degree of decision-making
power with subordinates, and is believed to send a message that management has
confidence in and respects others’ perspectives and opinions. It communicates to
employees that they are trusted, and that management can be trusted to include
them in relevant decisions. Likewise, as team members make attempts to share
in the team’s leadership (i.e., assume some decision-making power and respon-
sibility), and those attempts are accepted by the team, we would expect trust to
increase among team members.
Similarly, it has been proposed that trust among team members is damaged
when a member attempts to take control of a collectively managed team (Druskat
& Pescosolido, 2006). All members likely desire some control over the team’s
management and direction, because they all have a stake in the team’s perfor-
mance. Therefore, when members show willingness to share control (i.e., share
leadership) of the team, we expect increased trust among team members.
Hypothesis 4: Teams that engage in shared leadership will experience greater
intragroup trust than teams that do not engage in shared leadership.
Cohesion. Shared leadership has been proposed to lead to cohesion because
it necessarily contributes to team member interaction and socialization (Ensley
et al., 2003), and those involved in shared leadership systems may be more com-
mitted to the team and its values (O’Toole, Galbraith, & Lawler, 2002). At issue
here, as with intragroup trust, is the extent to which power and responsibility are
shared. It has been argued that the potential for dysfunctional political maneuver-
ing increases when power is controlled by one dominant individual (Eisenhardt &
Bourgeois, 1988). The extent to which power is shared among members should
have a significant effect on the group’s dynamics and members’ feelings toward
the group. Thus, shared leadership should help to create a bond among team mem-
bers, as they share power and responsibility for the team’s outcomes, and allow
cohesion to develop naturally and collectively, instead of through the imposition
of a single leader (Brown & Gioia, 2002; Solansky, 2008).
Some empirical evidence supports this proposition. Specifically, Avolio et al.
(1996) found that teams in which members collectively exhibited more leadership
behaviors reported higher scores on a combined measure of trust and cohesion.
Additionally, Pearce et al. (2004) found that shared leadership behavior was pos-
itively related to social integration (i.e., the extent to which the team members
get along, stick together, and have positive relationships), and was more strongly
related to social integration than was vertical leadership behavior. Thus, when
leadership is shared, we expected teams to experience greater cohesion.
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24 The Journal of Social Psychology
Hypothesis 5: Teams that engage in shared leadership will experience greater
cohesion than teams that do not engage in shared leadership.
Team member satisfaction. Team member satisfaction refers to the affective
reactions of individual members to their experiences with the team, and numer-
ous aspects of the team can be the target of such reactions (e.g., team processes,
leadership, teammates, etc.). An important function of leaders is to manage team
members’ affective states, and by doing so, leaders can significantly influence
performance (Humphrey, 2002).
As the shared leadership process facilitates positive group interactions and
socialization (Ensley et al., 2003), it would be expected that such interactions and
socialization would, in turn, promote positive affective reactions to the team and
its work. Moreover, as more members participate in and take responsibility for
the team’s leadership, increasing feelings of mutual accountability for outcomes
and demonstrating commitment to the team and its task, team members should
experience more positive affective reactions. With shared leadership, members
are likely to perceive their teammates as committed to and concerned with the
success of the team, and, thus, be more satisfied with the team’s decisions.
There is some empirical support for this proposition, as well. Avolio et al.
(1996) found that shared transformational leadership was positively related to
satisfaction with team leadership. Additionally, in a field study of 40 insurance
agencies, Bowers and Seashore (1966) found that shared leadership behavior was
related to job and company satisfaction.
Hypothesis 6: Teams that engage in shared leadership will experience greater
team member satisfaction than teams that do not engage in shared leadership.
Methods
Participants
Participants were 180 undergraduate students at a large southeastern uni-
versity. The sample included 116 males and 64 females (64.4% and 35.6%,
respectively), and was 88.3% Caucasian. Participants ranged in age from 18 to
44 (M=21.81, SD =3.50). Participants were recruited from departmental sub-
ject pools and received credit toward their research participation requirement in
exchange for participation.
Experimental Task
The experimental task was a multiparty role-play negotiation, during which,
each team simulated a cross-functional company task force consisting of four
departmental vice presidents within Porsche of America (Greenhalgh, 1984).
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Bergman et al. 25
The simulation materials were extensive, with each participant receiving six to
seven pages of both general background and department-specific information.
The team’s responsibility was to recommend a product strategy for the follow-
ing year, involving the production quotas, body styles, and performance options
for several lines of cars. The materials were structured to elicit debate among par-
ticipants regarding the desired outcomes. Each team’s primary goal was to reach
consensus on each of the strategy issues.
Measures
Leadership. Individual leadership behaviors were assessed by trained raters using
a behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) designed specifically for this study.
BARS are judgmental scales in which actual behaviors define the rating points, as
opposed to the numerical or adjective anchors used in traditional graphic scales
(Murphy & Cleveland, 1995). BARS minimize the interpretive ambiguity that
often accompanies the use of rating scales with numerical or adjective anchors
(Cardy & Dobbins, 1994). With a BARS, all raters are presented with specific
descriptions of what constitutes effective versus ineffective performance, thus,
providing raters with a common frame of reference when using the scale.
Four BARS were developed and utilized in the present study, one for each
of the leadership behaviors discussed earlier (initiating structure, consideration,
envisioning, and spanning). After their initial development, which was based
directly on the literature on leader behavior (e.g., Yukl, 2010), the scales were
subjected to three iterations of pre-testing and development. During each iteration,
three trained raters independently coded a videotape of a pilot team performing
the experimental task. Based on consensus, the scales were revised to ensure that
each scale and its anchors reflected the intended dimension of leadership.
In its final version, the rating form included a brief description of each type
of leadership behavior and a scale with behavioral anchors representing “poor,”
“average,” and “outstanding” performance. For example, envisioning leadership
was briefly described as “creating new/compelling visions; helping others work
through the envisioning process; fostering group ownership of central ideas.”
Behavioral anchors for outstanding performance included: “Reminds teammates
to think of best interests of company as a whole,” and “Initiates/facilitates dis-
cussion of what is most important to Porsche (e.g., profit, quality, customer
satisfaction).” Behavioral anchors for poor performance included: “Talks only
about what is best for his/her department,” and “Takes credit for team’s deci-
sions.” Similarly, spanning leadership was briefly described as “providing the
group with a source of reality checks; ensuring the group’s outputs will be well
received by others in the organization.” Behavioral anchors for outstanding per-
formance included: “Reminds teammates that president is relying on them,” and
“Asks teammates to consider whether suggestions are realistic (e.g., will another
small run of turbos further antagonize dealers?).” Behavioral anchors for poor
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26 The Journal of Social Psychology
performance included: “Makes unrealistic suggestions (e.g., eliminate racing pro-
gram),” and “Makes statements indicating no/little concern with how others will
react to team’s decisions.”
Each BARS was a 6-point scale, ranging from 2to+3, where the anchors at
2 defined poor performance, the anchors at +1 described average performance,
and the anchors at +3 described outstanding performance. Thus, negative rat-
ings indicated poor leadership performance, which involved individual-centered
behaviors directed at satisfying personal needs, with little or no regard for the team
and its goals (i.e., behaviors that detracted from the team’s functioning and/or
were clearly self-serving in nature). Positive ratings indicated average leader-
ship performance or higher, which involved team-centered behaviors directed
at helping the team make progress toward task accomplishment (i.e., behaviors
that facilitated the team’s functioning and were clearly team-focused in nature).
Members who displayed no leadership behaviors for a dimension were rated a “0”
on that dimension.
For each team, a trained rater watched a videotape of the team’s discussion,
and, using the BARS, rated each team member’s behavior with regard to each of
the four leadership dimensions. A random subset (29%) of the videotapes were
independently rated by two raters in order to assess inter-rater reliability, which
was 0.81 (see Larson, Christensen, Abbott, & Franz, 1996, for a similar protocol).
This level of reliability exceeds the conventional level of acceptable inter-rater
reliability (Landis & Koch, 1977; Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994).
Shared leadership. Shared leadership was operationalized in two ways: (1) the
number of members on the team who performed positive leadership behaviors;
and (2) the amount of leadership behavior exhibited by the team. The amount of
leadership behavior exhibited by the team was calculated by aggregating to the
team-level the leadership ratings for each team member for each type of behavior.
However, the amount of leadership in a team is only one aspect of shared leader-
ship. The very essence of shared leadership is that more than one team member
participates in the team’s leadership (Mayo, Meindl, & Pastor, 2003). Therefore,
shared leadership was considered to be the number of team members on each
team that engaged in leadership behaviors (i.e., had positive ratings for one or
more type of leadership), and the total amount of leadership behavior displayed
by the team.
Intragroup conflict. Task and socio-emotional conflict were measured using
eight items from the Intragroup Conflict Scale developed by Jehn (1994). Four
items assessed task conflict and four items assessed socio-emotional conflict.
Example items include, “How much friction was present in your work group?”
(socio-emotional conflict) and “How often did people in your work group dis-
agree about the work being done?”(task conflict). The scale utilized a 5-point
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Bergman et al. 27
Likert scale ranging from 1 (none)to5(a great deal). The internal consistency
reliability estimates for the two subscales were .79 for socio-emotional conflict
and .76 for task conflict.
Consensus-building. Consensus-building was measured with a single item
assessing the level of agreement with the team’s decisions. After the team had
reached its final decisions, each individual team member independently and pri-
vately indicated his/her level of agreement with the team’s decisions, on a scale
from 0% (no agreement) to 100% (complete agreement), with instructions to keep
in mind the best interests of the company. Individual responses to this item were
aggregated to the team level to indicate the amount of consensus among team
members. Thus, this measure was not simply an indicator of whether members
“signed off” on the team’s decisions. It reflected the degree to which individual
members privately agreed that the team had made quality decisions that would
benefit the company as a whole.
Intragroup trust. Intragroup trust was measured using an established scale of five
items representing widely agreed-upon components of trust (Simons & Peterson,
2000): members’ perceptions of group-wide trust, their perceptions of group-wide
expectations of truthfulness, integrity, and living up to one’s word, and their sense
of shared respect for team members’ competence. Example items include, “We
absolutely respect each other’s competence,” and “We are all certain that we can
fully trust each other.” Responses were made on a 7-point scale ranging from 1
(never)to7(always). The internal consistency reliability estimate of the scale for
the present sample was .86.
Cohesion. Cohesion was measured using six items assessing both task and inter-
personal cohesion (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1994; Zaccaro, 1991). Example
items include, “The members of my work group are cooperative with each other,”
and “I liked belonging to this group because of the activities I participated in.”
Responses were made on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree)to7
(strongly agree). The internal consistency reliability estimate of the scale for the
present sample was .77.
Satisfaction. Team member satisfaction was measured with a single item
designed to assess the participant’s overall satisfaction with the final decisions
made by the team. Responses were made on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from
1(very unsatisfied)to7(very satisfied). Research has demonstrated the adequacy
of one-item measures in areas such as performance evaluation and job satisfac-
tion (see Judge & Ferris, 1993, and Scarpello & Campbell, 1983, respectively).
Scarpello and Campbell (1983) argued that there is no empirical evidence to show
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28 The Journal of Social Psychology
that a single-item measure of job satisfaction is unreliable, and that such measures
have been found to be “extremely stable and reproducible” (p. 579).
Design and Procedure
The study was conducted in a laboratory setting in order to control for the
team’s task and to allow for videotaping. Institutional Review Board approval was
obtained prior to the study, and, at the start of each session, participants provided
informed consent to participate and were assured of strict confidentiality.
A power analysis indicated that a sample size of 45 teams provided power of
.70 to detect a moderate effect size. As such, participants were randomly assigned
to teams of four (n=45 teams), and were then randomly assigned to their role
in the decision-making task (i.e., Sales, Marketing, Production, or R&D). After
assignment to roles, participants were given some time to familiarize themselves
with the task materials, and then performed the experimental task with their team-
mates. Teams were instructed to discuss the task until they had reached final
decisions on each of the strategy issues. Each team was videotaped while per-
forming the experimental task. The mean time-to-completion was 44.95 minutes
(SD =14.85). Two teams were cut off at a 75-minute time limit and were given
one additional minute to finalize their decision(s).
At the conclusion of the experimental task, one team member recorded
the team’s final decisions. Members then independently rated their satisfaction
and consensus with their team’s decisions, and completed measures of conflict,
intragroup trust, and cohesion. Because of time constraints, completed measures
of intragroup trust and cohesion were obtained for only a subset of teams. Because
shared leadership is a relatively new line of research and we believed that the find-
ings pertaining to intragroup trust and cohesion were meaningful, these variables
were retained in the study.
Results
Analytic Strategy
Prior to hypothesis testing, team-level variables were created by computing
the mean of the four team members’ scores on each variable. The level of within-
team agreement for intragroup trust, cohesion, task conflict, and socio-emotional
conflict were assessed using rwg (James, Demaree, & Wolf, 1984). The number
of team members who engaged in leadership behaviors and the number of types
of leadership behaviors exhibited by each team were also calculated. All results
were evaluated using p<.05.
To examine the relationship between shared leadership and intermediate team
processes and emergent states an agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis was
first employed to identify the extent to which different teams shared leadership
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Bergman et al. 29
roles. The cluster analysis used Ward’s minimum-variance method, which uti-
lizes squared Euclidean distance to combine clusters, and has been shown to
outperform other clustering procedures (Aldenderfer & Blashfield, 1984; Everitt,
1993; Milligan, 1981). The cluster analysis was performed using raw team-level
scores on each of the four types of leadership behaviors. The dendrogram and the
agglomeration schedule were examined to determine the number of clusters (see
Aldenderfer & Blashfield, 1984; SPSS, 2008). The means of the resulting clus-
ters were compared to determine if the differences between the identified clusters
were statistically significant.
Preliminary Analyses
For all variables, correlations, means, and standard deviations are presented
in Tables 1 and 2.
Results indicated that the level of within-team agreement for intragroup trust,
cohesion, task conflict, and socio-emotional conflict was appropriate for aggre-
gating to the team-level. Specifically, the mean rwg scores for intragroup trust,
cohesion, task conflict, and socio-emotional conflict were .80, .85, .69, and .80,
respectively.
The results also indicated that the raters were able to distinguish among
the four types of leadership behaviors. Individual-level correlations among the
leadership behaviors (Table 1) were not significant except for those between con-
sideration and envisioning leadership, and consideration and initiating structure,
r=.28 and .30, respectively. These results also provided some support for our
contention that different individuals may be more inclined to engage in one type
of leadership over another. In general, team members rated highly on one type of
leadership were not rated highly on other types.
Furthermore, 79 of the 180 team members (43.9%) engaged in at least one
type of leadership behavior. Of these 79 members, the average number of lead-
ership types performed was 1.5. The majority of these 79 members (48, 60.8%)
engaged in only one type of leadership, and only eight members (10.2%) engaged
in three or four types. Additionally, there was a very strong positive team-level
correlation, r=.72, between the number of leaders on a team and the number of
leadership behaviors exhibited (Table 2). Taken together, these results provided
support for Hypothesis 1. Team members tended to effectively perform only one
type of leadership, and, in the majority of teams, multiple members had to engage
in leadership in order for the team to experience multiple types of leadership
behaviors.
Cluster Analysis
Two clusters emerged from the cluster analysis using raw team-level
scores on each of the four types of leadership behaviors as input. Specifically,
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30 The Journal of Social Psychology
TABLE 1. Individual-Level Correlations and Descriptive Statistics
Variable 1 2 3 4 5678910
Initiating structure behaviors
Consideration behaviors .30∗∗
Envisioning behaviors .11 .28∗∗
Spanning behaviors .11 .13 .04
Intragroup trust.10 .16 .04 .27
Cohesion.02 .11 .03 .22 .70∗∗
Socio-emotional conflict .06 .10 .07 .02 .29.21 —
Task conflict .10 .07 .04 .02 .34∗∗ .13 .46∗∗
Satisfaction .14 .00 .06 .07 .41∗∗ .42∗∗ .19.29∗∗
Consensus .19.00 .01 .00 .51∗∗ .51∗∗ .12 .26∗∗ .72∗∗
M.28 .14 .03 .07 24.82 32.23 2.02 3.65 5.54 80.67
SD .64 .74 .68 .36 5.75 5.45 .78 .87 1.08 16.98
n=180, unless otherwise denoted.
n=60 for correlations involving this variable.
p<.05, two-tailed. ∗∗p<.01, two-tailed.
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Bergman et al. 31
TABLE 2. Team-Level Correlations and Descriptive Statistics
Variable 1234567
89101112
Initiating structure
behaviors
Consideration
behaviors
.24 —
Envisioning behaviors .04 .17
Spanning behaviors .15 .13 .13 —
Number of leaders .41∗∗ .42∗∗ .19 .24
Number of behaviors .56∗∗ .50∗∗ .31∗∗ .36∗∗ .72∗∗
Intragroup trust.18 .60∗∗ .17 .51.30 .39 —
Cohesion.02 .44 .08 .58.20 .40 .67∗∗
Socio-emotional
conflict
.09 .28.18 .10 .08 .13 .40 .32 —
Task conflict .11 .23 .14 .08 .08 .13 .63∗∗ .19 .63∗∗
Satisfaction .05 .18 .00 .02 .04 .02 .52.30 .34.48∗∗
Consensus .22 .21 .12 .10 .21 .29.56.36 .19 .45∗∗ .74∗∗
M1.13 .56 .11 .27 1.76 2.00 24.82 32.23 2.02 3.65 5.54 80.46
SD .89 1.56 1.21 .91 .91 1.04 3.48 3.01 .54 .55 .58 9.56
n=45, unless otherwise denoted.
n=15 for correlations involving this variable.
p<.05, one-tailed. ∗∗p<.01, one-tailed.
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32 The Journal of Social Psychology
examination of the dendrogram for the number of groupings at a low distance
level and the agglomeration schedule for gaps between cluster joinings (see
Aldenderfer & Blashfield, 1984; SPSS, 2008) suggested a clear two-cluster solu-
tion. Further examination of these two clusters indicated a fairly straightforward
pattern—one cluster contained teams that had high, positive scores on the four
types of leadership behaviors and the second cluster contained teams that had
low or negative scores on the four types. Cluster 1, comprising 60% (n=27)
of the sample, was characterized by positive, above average scores on each of the
four types of leadership. These teams can be considered well-led teams. Cluster 2,
comprising 40% (n=18) of the sample, was characterized by either no leadership
or clear self-serving behaviors. In other words, teams in this cluster either lacked
leadership or experienced prevalent self-serving behaviors with respect to one or
more types of leadership.
Independent samples t-tests with cluster group as the between-subjects factor
confirmed that the mean scores for the two clusters were significantly different
with respect to all four leadership behaviors: initiating structure, consideration,
envisioning, and spanning (see Table 3).1
Tests of Hypotheses
As mentioned earlier, the very definition of shared leadership is that multiple
team members participate in the team’s leadership. Because the cluster analy-
sis was based on teams’ aggregate scores on the four leadership behaviors, two
one-tailed t-tests were conducted to investigate whether the clusters differed sig-
nificantly with regard to the number of leaders that emerged and the number
of leadership behaviors exhibited. The results (Table 4) confirmed that teams
TABLE 3. Final Cluster Means and Standard Deviations
Shared
leadership
No shared
leadership
Cluster 1
(n=27)
Cluster 2
(n=18)
MSD M SD t d
Initiating structure
behaviors
1.37 0.88 0.78 0.81 2.280.70
Consideration behaviors 1.33 1.07 0.61 1.46 5.15∗∗ 1.52
Envisioning behaviors 0.59 1.15 0.61 0.92 3.71∗∗ 1.15
Spanning behaviors 0.56 0.93 0.17 0.71 2.79∗∗ 0.88
p<.05, two-tailed. ∗∗p<.01, two-tailed.
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Bergman et al. 33
TABLE 4. Means and Standard Deviations Between Clusters on Leadership,
Process, and Outcome Variables
Shared
leadership
No shared
leadership
Cluster 1
(n=27)
Cluster 2
(n=18)
MSDMSD t d
Number of leaders 2.19 0.68 1.11 0.83 4.74∗∗ 1.42
Number of leadership
behaviors
2.63 0.69 1.06 0.73 7.36∗∗ 2.21
Intragroup trust26.22 3.20 23.21 3.28 1.790.93
Cohesion33.59 3.60 30.68 0.85 2.081.11
Socio-emotional conflict 1.88 0.51 2.22 0.53 2.10∗∗ 0.65
Task conflict 3.53 0.58 3.82 0.47 1.750.55
Satisfaction 5.63 0.56 5.40 0.59 n.s. 0.40
Consensus 83.45 8.80 75.98 9.10 2.75∗∗ 0.83
For intragroup trust and cohesion: cluster 1, n=8; cluster 2, n=7.
p<.05, one-tailed. ∗∗p<.01, one-tailed.
in Cluster 1 had significantly more members perform leadership behaviors and
had significantly more types of leadership behaviors performed than did teams in
Cluster 2. This finding provides additional support for Hypothesis 1, further sug-
gesting that when multiple members participate in the team’s leadership, the team
is more likely to experience multiple types of leadership behaviors.
Support was also found for Hypotheses 2, 3, 4, and 5. Teams in Cluster 1
experienced significantly less socio-emotional and task conflict, higher consensus,
and greater intragroup trust and cohesion than did teams in Cluster 2 (see Table 4).
The difference between clusters with regard to satisfaction, although in the
expected direction, was not significant; therefore, Hypothesis 6 was not supported.
Discussion
In the present study, we sought to contribute to the shared leadership research
by operationalizing shared leadership in terms of the number of members con-
tributing behaviorally to the leadership of the team, and by examining the
relationship between shared leadership and team processes and emergent states.
The results strongly supported the contention that shared leadership is a sig-
nificant predictor of team processes and intermediate outcomes (Barry, 1991;
Pearce & Sims, 2002). Teams that developed a pattern of leadership behavior
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34 The Journal of Social Psychology
that included numerous types of leadership and multiple leaders experienced
significantly better intermediate team processes and emergent states than did
teams that lacked leadership or developed a pattern of dysfunctional behavior.
Specifically, teams with shared leadership reported less conflict, greater consen-
sus, and higher intragroup trust and cohesion than teams that did not experience
shared leadership.
Moreover, the results suggested that the likelihood of a team experiencing a
full range of leadership behavior increases to the extent that multiple team mem-
bers share leadership. First, the majority of team members effectively engaged in
only one type of leadership. Second, teams with positive scores on all four types
of leadership behavior had significantly more team members participate in the
leadership of the team. On average, two team members in Cluster 1 engaged in
leadership (50% of the team), compared with Cluster 2, in which only one team
member typically engaged in leadership. Third, the number of leaders on a team
was significantly, positively correlated with the number of leadership behaviors
fulfilled. Thus, in order for a team to experience the multiple types of leadership
necessary for positive team functioning, at least two team members may have to
participate in the team’s leadership. Otherwise, certain types of leadership may
be absent, limiting the team’s potential.
The results with respect to satisfaction, although in the expected direction,
were not significant. This finding was surprising, given the significant differences
between clusters with regard to consensus, and that ratings of satisfaction and
consensus were highly correlated, r=.72, p<.01. One possible explanation
for these findings is that the primary effect of shared leadership was to increase
understanding of the team’s decisions (i.e., consensus), even if members did not
“like” the decisions (i.e., satisfaction). In other words, shared leadership may act
to increase cognitive acceptance of decisions, with a lesser impact on affective
acceptance.
Overall, our findings support previous research suggesting that shared lead-
ership is related to positive team functioning (e.g., Avolio et al., 1996; Ensley
et al., 2006; Pearce et al., 2004). However, the current study went beyond pre-
vious research on shared leadership in several ways. First, problems associated
with common method bias were minimized because actual leadership behavior
was coded by independent observers, versus being assessed via peer reports (e.g.,
Avolio et al., 1996; Ensley et al., 2006; Pearce & Sims, 2002). Observers indepen-
dently coded leadership behaviors representing all four types with a high degree
of reliability. Second, this method of data collection resulted in each individual
team member being rated on each leadership dimension, providing 16 individ-
ual data points per team—four team members, each with four leadership scores.
Previous studies (e.g., Ensley et al., 2006; Pearce & Sims, 2002) have assessed
shared leadership by asking team members to rate the amount of various types of
leadership behavior collectively exhibited by the team’s members. In contrast, the
data collected in the present study enabled us to directly examine the extent to
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Bergman et al. 35
which shared leadership may naturally occur among team members, and showed
that multiple team members are likely needed for a team to experience multiple
types of leadership behaviors. Third, the use of cluster analysis revealed patterns
of leadership behaviors that existed among team members and how these patterns
influenced team processes and outcomes.
Limitations
A few limitations of the present study should be noted. The present study
involved short-term project teams working on a decision-making task. It is pos-
sible, and perhaps likely, that the relevance of different types of leadership
behaviors is contingent upon team type. Although the four types of leadership
behaviors examined in the present study (initiating structure, consideration, envi-
sioning, and spanning) are arguably applicable to all types of teams, this is not an
exhaustive list of leadership behaviors, and we examined only one type of team.
There are undoubtedly additional types of leader behaviors that are important for
team effectiveness, and it is possible that different types of behaviors are more or
less relevant to shared leadership depending on team type.
Our use of ad hoc groups working on a short-term task likely resulted in mem-
bers having little time to bond and build trust, and the natural conflicts built into
the task may have discouraged members from emerging as leaders to coordinate a
decision. However, we believe that such a setting simply provided a conservative
test of the extent to which members naturally share leadership and the relation-
ship of such leadership with team functioning. Thus, our significant results likely
speak to the importance of shared leadership within teams.
Our sample consisted of student participants working in a controlled envi-
ronment. Although this was necessary in order to control for the team’s task
and to permit videotaping and behavioral coding of leadership, the sample may
limit the generalizability of the results. Future research should continue to study
the occurrence of shared leadership by examining organizational teams in field
settings.
Additionally, subsequent replications with larger samples are encouraged to
determine the robustness of the current findings. Particularly with respect to the
results of the cluster analysis, findings should be cross-validated on another sam-
ple in order to ensure the stability and validity of the study’s leadership profile.
Lastly, the cross-sectional design limits causal inferences. For example, with
regard to shared leadership and intragroup trust, it is certainly possible that higher
levels of trust among team members leads to greater shared leadership. That is, as
team members grow to trust one another, they then feel more comfortable partic-
ipating in the leadership of the team. Perhaps most likely is that this relationship
is a cyclical one. However, given the literature and research on shared leader-
ship, we did hypothesize specific causal directions, and our methodology fit these
hypotheses (i.e., leadership behaviors were rated throughout the course of the
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36 The Journal of Social Psychology
team’s discussion, while other variables were assessed at the end of the session).
Future research should utilize longitudinal designs in order to directly test these
causal relationships.
Implications and Future Research
The present findings may directly influence the content and types of train-
ing and development that are recommended for work teams and, in particular,
the increasingly popular self-managed work teams. If indeed team effectiveness
results from shared leadership, then team members must be made aware of their
individual accountability for the leadership and followership in their respective
teams. Shared leadership may be unlikely to occur if members hold “traditional”
expectations of team leadership, that is, if members expect one person to take
full responsibility for the team’s fate (Bradford & Cohen, 1984). Also, the sig-
nificant relationships between shared leadership in teams and team cohesion and
intragroup trust may have meaningful implications for the enhancement of team
viability. That is, perhaps by training teams to share in their leadership responsi-
bilities, practitioners may actually improve the long-term interactions among team
members. Of course, as mentioned above, the type of work team and the nature of
the task at hand may influence the importance of different types of leader behav-
ior, and past research has found that team type can impact certain outcomes (e.g.,
Abbott, Boyd, & Miles, 2006). Thus, these variables should be examined in future
research, along with other types of leadership behaviors.
Perhaps most importantly, now that more empirical studies of shared lead-
ership have been conducted (e.g., Ensley et al., 2006; Mehra et al., 2006; Pearce
et al., 2004; Pearce & Sims, 2002; Solansky, 2008), showing its importance to
team processes and outcomes, research needs to be conducted on the process by
which shared leadership occurs. For example, in some teams, multiple leaders
appear to harmoniously emerge, while other teams have several members fight to
control power. It is possible that shared leadership emerges in teams in a man-
ner similar to the trust-building process (Mayer & Davis, 1999; Zand, 1972).
Emergent leadership behaviors are risky, in that one’s influence attempt can be
rejected by the team. Perhaps as one team member takes this risk and is accepted
by the team, other members, learning through observation, then feel comfortable
making influence attempts, and the team experiences a positive spiral resulting
in shared leadership. Alternatively, one team member may attempt to influence
the team and have that attempt rejected. Not only is that team member now less
likely to make another attempt, but other members may also be less likely to risk
rejection, and a dominant, controlling member is provided the opportunity to step
forward unopposed.
This also leads to questions regarding possible antecedents of shared lead-
ership. There has been much speculation but little empirical research on the
precursors to shared leadership. Carson et al. (2007) examined internal team
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Bergman et al. 37
environment and external team coaching, while others have suggested factors such
as task complexity and team size (Conger & Pearce, 2003), team maturity and
demographic diversity (Perry et al., 1999), and team member desire to lead and
leadership self-efficacy (Houghton, Neck, & Manz, 2003). Clearly more research
is needed in this area. If shared leadership is an important component of team
effectiveness, and it certainly appears to be, then the next step is to understand
how and why it occurs so we can facilitate the process. Research in the broader
areas of team leadership and leadership emergence may provide some guidance.
For example, recent work on the Big Five personality traits and an individual’s
attachment style point to possible factors in being seen by others as a leader
(Berson, Dan, & Yammarino, 2006; Hirschfeld, Jordan, Thomas, & Feild, 2008).
Lastly, future research should continue to examine shared leadership beyond
its influence on traditional conceptualizations of performance and satisfaction.
For example, shared leadership has been proposed as a deterrent to executive cor-
ruption (Pearce, Manz, & Sims, 2008), and as a way to improve teamwork among
corporate boards (Conger & Lawler, 2009).
Conclusion
Effective leadership is critical to a team’s success, and the complexity of a
team setting may require a more complex leadership dynamic. Such close coordi-
nation of numerous and often vastly different individuals requires a wide variety
of leadership behavior in order to handle the team processes and contexts that
lead to high performance. Thus, in nearly all team settings, with or without exter-
nal leadership, the team itself is an important source of leadership that cannot be
overlooked. It seems increasingly clear that the conceptualization of leadership
must expand from that involving only a single, vertical leader to one involving
both formal, hierarchical leadership and leadership shared among team members.
This study adds to the small, yet growing, empirical research on shared lead-
ership in teams, helps to answer the calls for more research that conceptualizes
leadership as a team-level phenomenon, and provides evidence that shared lead-
ership affects important team processes and emergent states. Shared leadership
among team members can increase team effectiveness, and teams that overlook
this potent source of leadership are likely left at a disadvantage.
NOTE
1. With the exception of the leadership behavior of spanning, none of the skewness and kurtosis
statistics for the study’s variables indicated a departure from normality (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007).
Regarding spanning behavior, the kurtosis statistic suggested a leptokurtic distribution. In light of
this, we re-tested the relevant hypothesis using a Mann Whitney U test, and replicated the results
of the independent samples t-test reported in Table 4. Given that: a) only one variable was found to
violate the normality assumptions, b) the analogous non-parametric test yielded the same result as the
parametric test, and c) most parametric approaches for inferences about means are quite robust (Rasch
& Guiard, 2004), the results of the independent samples t-tests were reported for all variables.
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38 The Journal of Social Psychology
AUTHOR NOTES
Jacqueline Z. Bergman is an Assistant Professor of management at
Appalachian State University, and received her PhD in industrial-organizational
psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Joan R. Rentsch
earned her PhD in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of
Maryland and is currently a Professor of communication studies at the University
of Tennessee conducting research on psychological processes in organizations
and in decision-making teams. Erika E. Small received her PhD in industrial-
organizational psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is
currently an Assistant Professor of management at Coastal Carolina University.
Shaun W. Davenport received his PhD in industrial-organizational psychology
from the University of Tennessee in 2009 and is currently an Assistant Professor
in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at High Point University.
Shawn M. Bergman is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Appalachian
State University, and earned his PhD in industrial-organizational psychology from
the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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Self-leadership and superleadership: The heart and art of creating shared leadership in teams “If you give a man a fish, he will have a single meal. If you teach him how to fish, he will eat all his life.” The competitive environment facing many organizations is rapidly changing in the face of today's fast moving, information-based world. Driven by technology and global competition, many companies are moving toward more organic and decentralized organizational forms. Through the decentralization of power, authority, and decision-making responsibilities, organizations are finding the flexibility and rapid response capabilities necessary to remain competitive in high-tech or service-oriented marketplaces. This decentralization of organizational power is creating unprecedented opportunities for organizational members at all levels to take greater responsibility for their own job tasks and work behaviors (Shipper & Manz, 1992). In addition, this trend has placed an emphasis on participatory management concepts such as employee empowerment (e.g., Conger ...
Chapter
Shared leadership: Paradox and possibility Over the past two decades, a shift has occurred in how we think about, understand, and theorize organizational phenomenon. Gone are images of the organization as machine, a black box that can be understood by an analysis of inputs and outputs with leaders at the top who direct and control the process. In its stead is the image of organization as a living, dynamic system of interconnected relationships and networks of influence. This paradigm shift in the image of what an organization is has been accompanied by a corresponding shift in the notion of leadership itself. New models of leadership recognize that effectiveness in living systems of relationships does not depend on individual, heroic leaders but rather on leadership practices embedded in a system of interdependencies at different levels within the organization. This has ushered in an era of what is often called “post-heroic” or ...
Chapter
A landscape of opportunities: Future research on shared leadership Though this volume conveys the impression of significant progress in our understanding of the dynamics of shared leadership, we would argue that the field is still in its infancy. Like other fledgling fields, the initial research on shared leadership was shaped by a pioneering but small group of individuals curious about the phenomenon (Avolio, Jung, Murry, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Ensley & Pearce, 2000; Ensley, Pearson, & Pearce, in press; Pearce, 1997; Pearce, Perry, & Sims, 2001; Pearce & Sims, 2000, 2002; Perry, Pearce, & Sims, 1999; Seers, 1996). These initial “scholar entrepreneurs” and the widening circle of scholars who have joined them in this volume will continue to have a profound influence on the field. After all, they have established the first models, developed the first survey instruments, and laid the groundwork for what must be studied in the future. At ...