Leading Together: Exploring Conditions for Shared Leadership Emergence in Teams
Scott, Charles Percy Reed
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Modern workplaces require complex teamwork and leadership behaviors to innovate and achieve their goals effectively. Research has found that one of the best ways to help improve team collaboration and performance is to foster shared leadership across the team members. However, little research has been conducted to determine what factors actually drive the emergence of shared leadership in teams. This archival study examines the possible factors and pathways that lead to shared leadership emerging within teams. The data from sixty-six (66) three-person teams was used. Each team member had to collaborate to successfully complete a simulated spaceship bridge task. Six hypotheses were tested at the team-level. The results suggest that surface-level diversity negatively impacts the emergence of shared leadership, whereas a team’s positive perceptions of its own internal environment positively relates to the emergence of shared leadership. It was also found that reductions in perceptions of team internal environment fully mediates the relationship between surface-level diversity and shared leadership emergence. Implications for research and practice of these findings are also discussed.