EFFECTS OF LEADERSHIP STYLE UPON GROUP PERFORMANCE AS A FUNCTION OF TASK STRUCTURE.
Technical rept. no. 3,
FLORIDA UNIV GAINESVILLE
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Fiedlers contingency model for the prediction of leadership effectiveness holds that directive leadership is more effective when the group-task situation is either highly favorable or highly unfavorable for the leader, whereas nondirective leadership is more effective in the intermediate ranges of favorability. An experiment was conducted to test this hypothesis. Five-person groups attempted three tasks under either directive or nondirective leadership. Leadership behavior was manipulated by instructions. The three tasks were selected to vary along the Solution multiplicity dimension, hence presumed to reflect different levels of favorability for the leader. The results indicated that the directive leader was more effective than the nondirective leader only when the group-task situation was highly favorable for the leader, thus only partially supporting the hypothesis. The discrepancy between theoretical expectations and obtained results was discussed in terms of the experimental manipulations of the favorability continuum and the incompleteness of the contingency model. It was suggested that a consideration of task requirements in relation to leader behavior would add to the comprehensiveness of the model. Author