Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Least-Preferred Coworker Scale


The Least-Preferred Co-worker (LPC) Scale is a psychological tool used to measure an individual’s leadership style and interpersonal relationships. It prompts the individual to rate a coworker they find the least favorable in terms of various personality traits and characteristics. The resulting score helps determine whether the person has a task-oriented or relationship-oriented leadership style.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Least-Preferred Coworker Scale” can be broken down as follows:- Least: /list/ or /liːst/- Preferred: /prɪˈfɜrd/ or /prəˈfɝːd/- Coworker: /koʊˈwɜrkər/ or /koʊˈwɝːkər/- Scale: /skeɪl/ or /skeɪl/So the complete phonetic pronunciation of “Least-Preferred Coworker Scale” would be: /list prɪˈfɜrd koʊˈwɜrkər skeɪl/

Key Takeaways

  1. Measuring Leadership Styles: The Least-Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale is a tool used to assess an individual’s leadership style by asking them to think of the coworker they least prefer to work with and rate them on various dimensions. This helps in determining whether the individual has a task-oriented or relationship-oriented leadership style.
  2. Fiedler’s Contingency Model: The LPC Scale is a key component of Fiedler’s Contingency Model of leadership, which posits that a leader’s effectiveness depends on the match between their leadership style and the situation. By understanding a leader’s LPC score, organizations can place leaders in the most appropriate situations to optimize their effectiveness.
  3. Utility in Various Situations: The LPC Scale is useful not only for organizations and team building, but also for individuals seeking to understand their leadership style and areas of improvement. By using the LPC Scale to assess leadership style, individuals can gain insight into their preferences and adapt their approach to better suit various environments and circumstances.


The Least-Preferred Coworker Scale (LPC) is an important business/finance term as it serves as a valuable tool for assessing and understanding leadership styles within an organization. By asking individuals to rate their least preferred coworker on a series of dimensions, the LPC helps to reveal whether a leader leans towards a task-oriented style or a relationship-oriented style. This insight can enhance a company’s ability to effectively manage teams and projects, promote a healthy working environment, and maximize workforce efficiency. In addition, identifying leadership styles through the LPC can help organizations in selecting, developing, and training leaders, thus improving overall productivity and ensuring long-term success.


The Least-Preferred Coworker Scale (LPC) serves as a powerful instrument to determine an individual’s leadership style and preferences when it comes to team dynamics and management. Pioneered by psychologist Fred E. Fiedler in the 1960s, the LPC Scale aims to ascertain how managers view their relationships with their subordinates, particularly the ones they find most challenging to work with. By closely examining the attitudes and approaches towards difficult coworkers, the LPC Scale helps organizations to identify leadership tendencies, understand team cohesion, and optimize the allocation of resources to enhance overall productivity.

LPC Scale is primarily employed to distinguish between task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership styles. By having managers rate various attributes of their least-preferred coworkers, the scale generates a score that categorizes them into one of the two aforementioned groups. Task-oriented leaders tend to focus on goals, deadlines, and achieving results, whereas relationship-oriented leaders prioritize team support, communication, and building strong interpersonal relationships.

Insights gleaned from LPC Scale evaluations can be employed to match leaders with appropriate team configurations and assess compatibility with organizational goals, ultimately resulting in improved effectiveness and collaboration. By understanding and leveraging the individual strengths and tendencies of managers, organizations can create more amicable work environments conducive to exceptional results.


The Least-Preferred Coworker Scale (LPC) is a measurement tool used in organizational behavior and leadership studies to evaluate an individual’s leadership style and effectiveness, based on their relationship with the least-preferred coworker. Here are three real-world examples of situations where the LPC scale may be applied:

1. Human Resources Evaluating Management Styles: In a large corporation, the human resources department may use the LPC Scale to determine the leadership approaches of their managers. By identifying how managers view their least-preferred coworkers, the HR team can better understand if the organization’s managers are more task-oriented or relationship-oriented. This information can be helpful when implementing targeted development measures to fine-tune managerial skills and enhance overall leadership effectiveness.

2. Consulting Firm Leadership Assessments: A consulting firm might be hired by a company to evaluate the leadership styles of its executives and provide data-driven recommendations for improving managerial effectiveness. The consultants may use the LPC scale as part of their assessment process. Based on the LPC scores, the consultants might conclude that the leadership team is too focused on tasks and not enough on nurturing employee relationships. They might recommend various interventions to shift the overall leadership style to a healthier balance between tasks and relationships.

3. Mergers and Acquisitions: When two companies merge or one company acquires another, the integration of leadership and corporate culture is often a critical success factor. In such situations, the LPC scale can be used to evaluate the leadership styles of key executives from both companies. This insight can help predict potential clashes and guide the organizational design process post-merger, ensuring a smooth transition for employees and preventing friction among the newly combined leadership team.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Least-Preferred Coworker Scale (LPC Scale)?

The Least-Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale is a measurement tool used to determine an individual’s leadership style. It assesses the degree to which a person’s leadership is focused on task-oriented or relationship-oriented behavior by evaluating their perception of their least-preferred coworker.

How does the LPC Scale work?

The LPC Scale consists of a questionnaire where individuals rate their least-preferred coworker (i.e., someone with whom they had the most difficulty working) on a series of bipolar scales related to various personal and professional qualities (for example, friendly-unfriendly, supportive-hostile, etc.). The sum of these ratings produces an LPC score, which indicates the participant’s dominant leadership style, either task-oriented or relationship-oriented.

What does a high LPC score indicate?

A high LPC score suggests that the individual has a relationship-oriented leadership style. This means that they prioritize maintaining positive interpersonal relationships, cultivating a healthy team environment, and fostering collaboration and communication among team members.

What does a low LPC score indicate?

A low LPC score indicates that the person has a task-oriented leadership style. This suggests that they are more focused on achieving goals, meeting deadlines, and maintaining high standards of performance, often at the expense of building relationships or considering the emotional well-being of the team members.

Can the LPC Scale be used as a standalone tool for assessing leadership styles?

Although the LPC Scale does provide valuable insights into an individual’s leadership style, it is recommended that it be used in conjunction with other assessment tools and direct observation of the individual in action. This will enable a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of their leadership approach and effectiveness.

Is the LPC Scale suitable for all types of organizations and industries?

The LPC Scale can provide valuable insights for organizations and industries where leadership styles significantly impact team performance. However, the results may be less relevant or useful in industries that do not highly depend on collaborative teamwork or where leadership is highly standardized and predefined by the organization.

How can the LPC Scale be used for leadership development?

The LPC Scale can be used to identify areas of improvement for individuals, particularly in understanding their own leadership style and applying it effectively in various work situations. By understanding one’s own leadership approach, it becomes easier to adapt and develop a more flexible, versatile, and effective style, which can ultimately contribute to better team performance and productivity.

Related Finance Terms

  • Fiedler’s Contingency Theory
  • Leadership effectiveness
  • Task-oriented style
  • Relationship-oriented style
  • Situational favorability

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More