The study of leadership in organizations has received much research attention over the past several decades. However, most of this research has examined hierarchical structures of leadership wherein one individual leads, or is perceived to lead, several other individuals. With a growing number of organizations structuring employees within teams or work groups, researchers have begun studying the ways in which leadership operates in groups. One alternative to the traditional hierarchical structure is for leadership to be distributed or shared in groups such that multiple group members contribute to the overall leadership function of the group. As a result, researchers have begun examining the construct of shared leadership, which is defined as the extent to which multiple group members share in the leadership function of the group. Because shared leadership is a relatively new concept in the research literature, our knowledge of the antecedents of shared leadership is limited. The primary aim of the present research was to explore group composition as a potential antecedent of shared leadership in teams. Group composition was examined in terms of the agreeableness, extraversion, collectivistic work orientation, and trait competitiveness within the group. Mean, minimum/maximum, and variance models of group composition were employed in the present research. A sample of 385 participants comprised a total of 97 groups of three to six individuals to complete a leaderless group discussion exercise and completed measures of shared leadership after completing the group exercise. Results from a series of hierarchical linear regression analyses found no significant relationships between any of predictors and shared leadership using either a social network analysis or a referent-shift approach. Given the short amount of time group members worked on the group task, a clear implication of these findings is that shared leadership requires adequate time to manifest in groups.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Currie, Richard, "Group Composition Characteristics as Predictors of Shared Leadership: An Exploration of Competing Models of Shared Leadership Emergence" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6328.