Leaders’ and followers’ social rank styles interact to predict group performance

Allison C. Kelly1, David C. Zuroff1, Michelle J. Leybman1, Alia Martin1
1McGill University, Canada
Cite this article:  Kelly, A., Zuroff, D., Leybman, M., & Martin, A. (2011). Leaders’ and followers’ social rank styles interact to predict group performance. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 39, 963-978.

Volume 39 Issue 7 | e2180 | Published: August 2011 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2011.39.7.963

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In the current study we extended the research of Zuroff, Fournier, Patall, and Leybman (2010) who found that individuals differ in their use of dominant leadership (DL), coalition building (CB), and ruthless self-advancement (RSA) when trying to secure rank among peers. In this study we examined whether the interaction of leaders’ and followers’ social rank styles, composed of these 3 dimensions, would influence group performance. Groups of 4 undergraduates were asked to write an article under the randomly assigned leadership of 1 group member. Hierarchical regression revealed that under leaders high in RSA, group performance was weaker when followers were high in RSA and stronger when followers were low in CB. However, under leaders high in CB, performance was stronger when followers where either high in CB or high in RSA.

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