The present research examined the moderating effect of the level of threshold on people's preferences for different leader types in step-level public good dilemmas. It was assumed that the primary focus of people in step-level public good dilemmas is to make sure that the group surpasses the threshold. Consequently, when the level of threshold is difficult to reach people are expected to provide more support for and cooperate with a leader that monitors and controls the contributions made toward the public good. However, if the threshold is easy to surpass people will focus more on whether the obtained public good or bonus will be distributed according to agreements, suggesting that people will provide more support to and cooperate with a leader that monitors and controls the distribution of the bonus. These predictions were confirmed across two experiments using a step-level public good paradigm with a dichotomous (Study 1) and a continuous (Study 2) contribution choice. Moreover, the results also revealed that perceptions of trust accounted, in part, for the effect of level of threshold on people's leadership preferences.

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ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

de Cremer, D. (2007). Which type of leader do I support in step-level public good dilemmas? The roles of level of threshold and trust. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 48(1), 51–59. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9450.2007.00569.x