The shared leadership process in decision-making teams

J Soc Psychol. 2012 Jan-Feb;152(1):17-42. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2010.538763.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Consensus
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Group Processes*
  • Group Structure
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Social Identification
  • Students / psychology
  • Videotape Recording
  • Young Adult