Reactions to prescribed leader behavior as a function of role perspective: The case of the Vroom-Yetton model

Madeline E. Heilman, Harvey A. Hornstein, Jack H. Cage, Judith K. Herschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine the reputational consequences of various leader behaviors, 2 experiments were conducted in which a leader's reported actions were either correct or incorrect in terms of the V. H. Vroom and P. W. Yetton (1973) contingency model. Results of Study 1, with 25 22-59 yr old volunteers, indicate that, when cast in the role of subordinates, Ss never rated an autocratic leader's behavior as more effective than a participative leader's behavior, even when the situation was one in which autocratic behavior would be prescribed by the Vroom-Yetton model. This finding was replicated in Study 2 when the perspective of 72 19-63 yr old participants was systematically varied. However, in this study Ss assigned the role of boss evaluated leader effectiveness in total accordance with the contingency principles of the model. Findings suggest that the perspective of the individual viewing a leader influences the way in which he/she evaluates that leader's task effectiveness. Data from both studies indicate a consistently more favorable affective response to the participative than to the autocratic leader, regardless of S's perspective or the circumstances. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1984


  • correct vs incorrect leader behavior according to contingency principles of Vroom-Yetton model, evaluation of leader effectiveness, 19-63 yr olds assigned to subordinate vs boss role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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