Reviewed by Jan 05, 2021| Updated on
The concept of the least preferred coworker (LPC) scale was developed by Fred Fiedler. The scale is used to identify if an individual's leadership style is relationship-oriented or task-oriented. It requires individuals to rate a person with whom they least prefer to work with, using a range of 18 to 25 adjectives that could be positive or negative along with ratings from 1 to 8.
The LPC score is calculated by summing up all the ratings. A high score states that the individual is a relationship-oriented leader, while a low score suggests that the individual is a task-oriented leader.
As stated above, the scoring system includes a set of bipolar adjectives, such as supportive or hostile, friendly or unfriendly, and pleasant or unpleasant. Further, the responses are rated from 1 to 8, meaning the least favourable to the most favourable, respectively.
The system assumes that people with relationship-based leadership traits tend to describe their least-preferred coworkers in a positive way, while those with task-oriented leadership traits rate them more negatively.
The model presents the notion that neither of the leadership styles is perfect or ideal as the needs change based on circumstances. Consider a scenario of a team of experienced professionals. A relationship-based leadership style suits the scenario the best. Such a team may not need a strict-approach as required by a team of freshers to get the task accomplished.