A LONGITUDINAL STUDY ON THE INTERPERSONAL DYNAMICS OF LEADER-MEMBER EXCHANGE DEVELOPMENT

Open Access
Author:
Sin, Hock-Peng
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
July 24, 2006
Committee Members:
  • James Lewis Farr, Committee Chair
  • Kevin R Murphy, Committee Chair
  • Alicia Ann Grandey, Committee Member
  • David Harrison, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • LMX Development
  • Interpersonal Dynamics
  • LMX Theory
  • leader-member exchange
Abstract:
The present study sought to offer a unique perspective on the development of dyadic (supervisor-subordinate) relationship quality by drawing upon social exchange theory and bringing together LMX, diversity, and interpersonal interaction theories. Based on these related theories and evidence in the literature, the processes of LMX development were predicted to be a function of the temporal focus (i.e., initial versus trajectory) and the nature of attributes being investigated (i.e., similarity versus complementarity effects), such that: a) both similarity and dissimilarity can be important and in ways that will correspond with the norms of social exchange, and b) demographic variables will be more important for predicting initial LMX quality, whereas psychological variables will be more influential in the prediction of trajectory in LMX. Three waves of data were collected from 46 pairs of new hires and their direct supervisors employed in a national law enforcement agency in Asia. While the hypothesized relationships were not supported, an emergent theme from the findings suggests that subordinates have better or seek to develop better exchange relationships with supervisors who are powerful, as indicated by both their majority status (i.e., race and gender) and trait dominance. In addition, supplementary analyses were conducted to examine the lack of agreement between supervisors’ and subordinates’ LMX ratings. Implications for LMX theory and research are discussed.