Leadership Selection and Cooperative Behavior in Social Dilemmas: An Empirical Exploration of Assigned versus Group‐Chosen Leadership


This research explores the leadership selection process as an antecedent to group cooperation. We compare group‐chosen and assigned leaders and explore their resulting influence upon the group process and outcome in a social dilemma context. In three empirical studies, we predict and provide support for the idea that group‐chosen leaders will attend more to the social aspects of the group's interaction as opposed to the economic (bottom‐line) ones than will assigned leaders. Additionally, we found that those groups with group‐chosen leaders had more overall group cooperation (i.e., less economic self‐interest), greater trust in one another and in the leader, and had leaders who displayed more socially oriented leadership behaviors.

Keywords: cooperation, leadership, ethics, groups, social dilemmas, trust




Published on
14 Dec 2017
Peer Reviewed