LEADER STYLE, COMPETENCE, AND SOURCE OF AUTHORITY AS DETERMINANTS OF ACTUAL AND PERCEIVED INFLUENCE.
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK BUFFALO
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Three characteristics of group leaders were manipulated experimentally to determine their impact on group member acceptance of leader influence. Leaders were perceived as either self-oriented or group-oriented in their actions as relatively competent or incompetent at the task and were either elected by group members or appointed by a source external to the group. Leaders perceived as more competent at the task were significantly more influential than were leaders perceived to be less competent. Leaders who were seen as self-oriented in their distribution of rewards were seen as unfair in their treatment of the group, but they were not less influential than group-oriented leaders in determining group member task judgments. While source of leader authority was not by itself significant in producing leader influence, it did produce significant differential consequences on the relationship between actual and perceived influence, with election yielding a positive and significantly stronger correlation between the two influence measures than did appointment. Thus, influence achieved by the leader was clearly shown to be a function of his perceived characteristics. Author