The present study offers new theoretical insights into the dynamics of shared leadership. Integrating arguments from shared leadership and team development theory, we examine how shared leadership changes over the course of a project team's life cycle and how this pattern of change relates to team performance. Guided by shared leadership theory and project team literature, we also explore team-level factors, which may alter the pattern of shared leadership development. In particular, we propose that in project teams shared leadership develops in a nonuniform way, approximating an inverted U-shaped pattern, increasing early in the team's life cycle, peaking around the midpoint, and then decreasing in the later phase. In turn, this development pattern relates positively to team performance. We also extend theory by explaining how specific team characteristics influence the pattern of shared leadership development. Using a three-study approach, we empirically examine the hypothesized relationships and conclude with a general discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management