The Role of Task-Oriented Versus Relationship-Oriented Leadership on Normative Contract and Group Performance

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Abstract:

In this paper we examine how groups develop normative contracts based on beliefs about the obligations other members of the group must fulfil in order to achieve group goals. The role played by perceived leadership – task- or relationship-oriented – was analyzed in relation to the development of relational normative contract and group performance. The study sample comprised 72 participants (24 groups of 3 members). A member of each team received training to be a group leader (task- or relationship-oriented leader). All groups worked on a simulation program: a complex decision-making managerial task. Group regulatory variables and group processes were evaluated during the simulation. Results showed that task-oriented leaders effected higher group efficacy and positivism among members of the group. In contrast, relationship-oriented leaders effected greater cohesion between the group's members. The final group performance is explained from the perspective of group efficacy and the relational normative contract.
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