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The Effect of Leader-Follower Agreement on Team Effectiveness

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TITLE The Effect of Leader-Follower Agreement on Team Effectiveness
 
RESEARCHER Susan D. Baker
School of Business
The George Washington University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: March 2006

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of the study was to answer the question about whether teams were more effective when their leaders and followers shared common views about leadership and followership characteristics.

METHODOLOGY
A convenience sample of employees in six healthcare organizations in the mid-Atlantic region yielded 41 team leaders and 208 team members (46% response rate). Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (Self only), the Performance and Relationship Questionnaire (PRQ: Rosenbach, Pittman & Potter, 1996), and provided demographic data. The author created a Leader-Follower Agreement Index based upon responses to the LPI and PRQ. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents were female, the majority were Caucasian (66%; with 21% African-American), and all had completed high school (38% college or graduate school). About one-third had been employed with their organization two years or less, 54 percent five years or less, and 70 percent ten years or less; which essentially parallel the percentages for length of time serving on their teams. Sixty-one percent of the teams were involved with clinical matters, while the remaining teams were involved in other support and administrative services areas. LPI internal reliability in this study was .94 overall, and ranged from .70 on Enabling to .86 on Inspiring. Factor analysis, however, found only three strong factors in the standard LPI five factor solution.

KEY FINDINGS
The Leader-Follower Agreement Index on the LPI (measuring the difference between the scores of the team's leader and each member of the team on the overall LPI or measure of agreement or homogeneity between the leader and team members) did not significantly vary between teams rating themselves as "more effective" versus those rating themselves as "effective." In addition, teams with less agreement on the LPI tended to have more racial/ethnic heterogeneity on the team, and, as well, teams with less LPI agreement were associated with those that had a greater mix of members educated both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. None of the other demographic variables yielded significant correlations.

The raw LPI scores of team leaders were significantly higher than those from team members. However, these raw LPI scores did not differentiate between teams based upon effectiveness assessments from either team leader or team member perspectives.

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