The effects of leadership involvement and the importance of the task on subordinates' performance

J. Keith Murnighan*, Thomas K. Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The present study manipulated two variables, leadership involvement in subordinates' discussion of a problem and the importance of the subordinate's task as perceived by the subordinate, and assessed their impact on two measures (quantity and quality) of productivity and a set of affective questionnaire items. Undergraduate students led by graduate student leaders (whose involvement varied over four levels) discussed problems in their curriculum and individually suggested solutions to these problems. The results showed that: (1) individuals led by a more involved leader produced more than individuals led by a less involved leader; (2) a task rated as very important resulted in increases in both the quantity and the quality of performance; (3) a significant interaction between the two variables indicated that the poorest quality performance was evidenced when the leader was involved and the task was of low importance; and (4) both variables had an impact on affective responses (e.g., self-reports of satisfaction) in the expected direction. The findings were discussed with respect to the appropriate strategies for optimal performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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