The Paradox of Formal Power Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Informal and Formal Leaders on Team Effectiveness

Kyung Chool Joe

Abstract


Although extensive research has focused on leadership, little is known about informal leaders in teams. Logically, it would seem that infor- mal leaders and formal leaders can have similar effects on firm performance. However, leadership research has mostly focused on formal leadership giving little attention to informal leadership. This study compared the effects of informal and formal leaders on team effective- ness. Employees’ negative feelings (pessimism) also weakened the relationship quality between informal leadership and team effectiveness, supporting the role of pessimism as a moderator. The leadership group with only informal power sources had a greater influence on team effectiveness indicating that formal supervisory power did not contribute to augmenting the impact size on team effectiveness. Implications and further research are discussed.

Keywords: informal leadership, formal leadership, pessimism, team effectiveness


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Yeatts, D. E., and C. Hyten. (1998). High Performing Self Managed Work Teams: A Comparison of Theory to Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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Zaccaro, S. J., A. L. Rittman, and M. A. Marks. (2001). “Team Lead- ership.” The Leadership Quarterly, 12, pp. 451–483.


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