The effects of team leader race on performance evaluations: An attributional perspective

Aleksander P.J. Ellis, Daniel R. Ilgen, John R. Hollenbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using attribution theory, this study examined the effects of team leader race on subordinate performance evaluations. The authors found that the team leader's performance was a major determinant of subordinate performance ratings. However, the team leader's performance, in combination with race, also affected performance attributions. In high performing teams with a Black leader, subordinates were more likely to attribute the leader's performance to internal causes (i.e., ability and effort) rather than external causes (i.e., luck and the ease of the game). Alternatively, in low performing teams with a Black leader, subordinates were more likely to attribute the leader's performance to external causes. These causal attributions then tempered the direct effect of the team leader's performance on subordinate performance ratings. Leaders who performed well received higher ratings when performance was attributed to internal rather than external factors. On the other hand, leaders who performed poorly received higher ratings when performance was attributed to external rather than internal factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-322
Number of pages28
JournalSmall Group Research
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

Keywords

  • Attributions
  • Leadership
  • Race
  • Teamwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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