A Model of Leadership Transitions in Teams

P. Marques-Quinteiro, H. van Dijk*, D.R. Peterson, M. Adamovic, C. Buengeler, C.M. Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Teams with shared leadership arrangements are ubiquitous in twenty-first century organizations. Although transitions in leadership are a common and key feature of such teams, there is little insight into how and when leadership arrangements transition over time. Bridging the shared leadership and team adaptation literatures, we present a model of Leadership Transitions in Teams to describe the adaptive process through which teams intentionally modify the existing leadership arrangement. The basic assumption underlying this model is that leadership transitions occur when there is a mismatch between the team's needs and its current leadership arrangement. Such a mismatch results from an anticipated or observed change. If it is anticipated, team members can democratically discuss and try out a new leadership arrangement, preventing mismatch and thus lowered team effectiveness. In contrast, if the mismatch has already occurred, teams are more likely to adopt a less democratic process-either a coalition-based or intervening-based process-to change the leadership arrangement in their team to counteract faltering team effectiveness. We propose that the ways in which leadership transition episodes can unfold and relate to team effectiveness will depend on the type (determined by the timing of the leadership transition episode in relation to the change), approach (determined by the extent to which there is consensus on if and how to change the leadership transition episode), and boundary conditions of leadership transition episodes. We advance an agenda for research on leadership transitions in teams and outline practical implications for teams with shared leadership structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10596011221082394
Pages (from-to)342-372
Number of pages31
JournalGroup & Organization Management
Issue number2
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • shared leadership
  • leadership structure
  • leadership arrangement
  • leadership transition
  • team adaptation
  • TIME
  • TOP

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