individual subordinates or groups of subordinates. The results of quantitative research (i.e., questionnaire studies, field experiments, laboratory experiments) on the effects of participation are summarized in several literature reviews and meta-analyses (Cotton et al., 1988; Leana et al., 1990; Miller and Monge, 1986; Wagner and Gooding, 1987). These reviews reveal that research evidence from the quantitative studies is inconsistent. Some studies found evidence that participative leadership resulted in higher subordinate performance, whereas other studies failed to find significant results. In contrast, findings from descriptive case studies of effective managers have been more consistently supportive of the benefits of participative leadership (e.g., Bradford and Cohen, 1984; Kanter, 1983; Peters and Austin, 1985).
Most of the quantitative research on participative leadership did not directly examine the possibility that consultation and delegation are effective in some situations but not others. To address this problem, Vroom and Yetton (1973) developed a theory specifying the necessary conditions for participative leadership to improve decision quality and subordinate commitment to the decision. Research conducted to test this theory has generally supported it (see Vroom and Jago, 1988; Yukl, 1994). The research indicates that a leader's use of participative decision making improves decision quality when subordinates have information and ideas not possessed by the leader and are willing to cooperate with the leader in finding a good way to achieve their shared objectives.
Delegation is a unique form of participative leadership that appears to improve subordinate performance when used in appropriate situations (Leana, 1986; Miller and Toulouse, 1986; Peters and Austin, 1985). Delegation is more likely to be successful when subordinates are competent, committed to organizational objectives, and willing to take on important responsibilities.
Inspirational leadership behavior is used is to motivate followers to exert exceptional effort and place the needs of the group or organization above their individual needs. Most studies on inspirational leadership suggest that it is one of the strongest predictors of subordinate commitment and performance (Avolio and Howell, 1992; Hater and Bass, 1988; House et al., 1991; Howell and Frost, 1989; Howell and Higgins, 1990; Podsakoff et al., 1990; Seltzer and Bass, 1990; Waldman et al., 1987; Yammarino and Bass, 1990; Yukl and Van Fleet, 1982).
According to most theories of inspirational and transformational leadership (e.g., Bass, 1985; Bennis and Nanus, 1985; Burns, 1978; Conger, 1989; Kouzes and Posner, 1987; Shamir et al., 1993; Tichy and Devanna, 1986), such leadership can enhance group performance in any situation, but it is