The role of task-oriented versus relationship-oriented leadership on normative contract and group performance

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Carmen Tabernero
M. Jose Chambal
Luis Curral
Jose M. Arana
Cite this article:  Tabernero, C., Chambal, M., Curral, L., & Arana, J. (2009). The role of task-oriented versus relationship-oriented leadership on normative contract and group performance. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 37(10), 1391-1404.


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In this paper we examine how groups develop normative contracts based on beliefs about the obligations other members of the group must fulfil in order to achieve group goals. The role played by perceived leadership - task- or relationship-oriented - was analyzed in relation to the development of relational normative contract and group performance. The study sample comprised 72 participants (24 groups of 3 members). A member of each team received training to be a group leader (task- or relationship-oriented leader). All groups worked on a simulation program: a complex decision-making managerial task. Group regulatory variables and group processes were evaluated during the simulation. Results showed that task-oriented leaders effected higher group efficacy and positivism among members of the group. In contrast, relationship-oriented leaders effected greater cohesion between the group’s members. The final group performance is explained from the perspective of group efficacy and the relational normative contract.

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Research for this article was supported by Grants I D SEJ 2006-07741 and Program José

Castillejo 2007 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology.

Appreciation is due to anonymous reviewers.

Professor Carmen Tabernero, Department of Psychology, University of Córdoba, Avenida San Alberto Magno s/n, 14004 Córdoba, Spain. Phone: +34 9572-12605; Fax: 34 9572-12513; Email: [email protected]

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