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


Although research on shared leadership is growing (Zhu, Liao, Yao, & Johnson, 2018), to date, little to no research has focused on how differing expectations of the role of the leader and the role of the followers impact the leader, the followers, and the team as a whole. Shared leadership is typically presented as a benefit to both leaders and followers; however, there can be a dark side too. The purpose of this study is to examine the dark side of shared leadership through leaders’ perceptions of their group and feelings of territoriality when faced with misaligned leadership expectations. Participants were placed in a group where leadership was either be expected to be individual or shared. Based on theory, it was predicted that in the control condition, the followers and the leader would expect the same form of leadership, and in the experimental condition, leaders would expect individual leadership, and followers would expect shared leadership. The leaders’ scores on measures of psychological territorial infringement (PTI) were recorded and used to determine the degree of territoriality that occurred over the leadership position. Measures of appreciation, group effectiveness, and satisfaction with the group were used to determine PTI’s effects on the leaders’ perception of their group. This study found that leaders do experience greater territoriality over their position when followers attempt shared leadership and the leader expects individual leadership. Additionally, this study found that higher territoriality negatively impacted the leader’s satisfaction with their group. The findings of this study have significant implications for both the shared leadership and PTI literatures in that it has further explored the dark side of shared leadership and has applied and found evidence of psychological territoriality over a perceived position.

File Format


Included in

Psychology Commons