Least Preferred Coworker Scale

DEFINITION of 'Least Preferred Coworker Scale '

A scale developed by American scientist Fred Fiedler to identify whether an individual's leadership style is relationship-oriented or task-oriented. The Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scale requires a person to rate the one individual they would least want to work with - the least preferred coworker - along a scale of 18 to 25 bipolar adjectives, with ratings from 1 to 8. The LPC score is then computed by totaling all the ratings. A high LPC score indicates that the individual is a relationship-oriented leader, while a low LPC score suggests a task-oriented leader.

BREAKING DOWN 'Least Preferred Coworker Scale '

A typical set of bipolar adjectives used in the LPC Scale would include Pleasant/Unpleasant, Friendly/Unfriendly, Supportive/Hostile and so on. The responses are graded from 1 for the least favorable attribute (for example, Unpleasant or Unfriendly), to 8 for the most favorable one (Pleasant or Friendly).
The LPC Scale assumes that people whose leadership style is relationship-oriented tend to describe their least preferred coworkers in a more positive manner, while those whose style is task-oriented rate them more negatively.

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