Role classification leadership is a form of leadership that provides information to subordinates on what they are expected to do (Franzetti, 2011). The leader guides the subordinates on what they should do and how they should do it.  The leader also schedules and coordinates work among subordinates. He maintains clearly defined performance standards.  There are various approaches to role classification models, but the most widely accepted model was developed by Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheats. The model divides group roles into three categories namely; task roles, maintenance roles and dysfunctional roles (Shimizu, 2006). Maintenance roles are also called social roles.  

The leaders and subordinates should first understand the role classifications well to avoid misunderstandings.  The subordinates are given full details of the role classification, and they are allocated the classes. Caution should be taken when allocating the classes as poor allocation may cause failure of the programme (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2003).  Task roles are mainly concerned with moving actions towards a conclusion, solution or a decision.  Maintenance or social roles are mainly concerned with the social climate. They affect the interpersonal dynamics of the group.  Dysfunctional roles are mainly concerned with self centered behaviors. They also impede the progress of the group. 

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However, the achievements of the subordinates on their satisfaction on the structure of work tasks.  Care should be taken when structuring the tasks to ensure that the subordinates are not dissatisfied. Role classification also increases satisfaction and performance of the subordinates who engage in unstructured tasks (Kelly & Maas, 1996).


Role classification leadership is a form of leadership that has considerable potential to improve performance in a group. However, the leaders should be particularly careful with the critical areas that may affect its effectiveness. Such areas as task classification need caution to ensure that the structures satisfy both the leaders and the subordinates. However, if well structured, role classification leadership can be highly effective. 

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