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Least-Preferred Coworker Scale

Reviewed by Apoorva | Updated on Jan 05, 2021


What is the Least Preferred Coworker Scale?

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.

How Does LPC Score Work?

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.

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