Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Valerie Sessa

Committee Member

Jennifer Bragger

Committee Member

Michael Bixter


The rationale of this study was to examine the potential relationship of team members’ leadership expectations and followers’ attitudes and team’s performance. Leadership expectations can vary between the individual level leadership and leadership as a collective or shared team activity (Zhu et al., 2018). Although relational models of leadership consider leadership as an emergent social construction of the team, there may be instances where it is difficult for the team to converge on a single agreed upon model. The purpose of this experiment was to better understand the impact of different alignment of leadership expectations between leaders and followers on follower perceptions, attitudes, and performance. Twenty-five teams with three to five members worked on a decision-making group task. Half of the teams had similar expectations of leadership as the leader while the other half of the teams had differing expectations from the leader. At the end of the team task, team members responded to questions assessing whether they felt appreciated by their leader, their role clarity, their perceptions of team effectiveness, their team satisfaction, and actual team performance. With the use of a multilevel regression analysis, this study found no significant relationship between the leadership expectation alignment vs nonalignment and followers’ attitudes, and a Chi-Square test found no significant relationship between leadership expectation alignment vs nonalignment and team performance. Overall, the results of the study show conflicting leadership expectations has no significant influence on followers’ attitudes, perceptions, or the team’s performance. This information can be useful for future research on leadership expectations that impacts the group’s dynamics and functions.

File Format


Included in

Psychology Commons