Leader-member exchange (LMX) in context: How LMX differentiation and LMX relational separation attenuate LMX's influence on OCB and turnover intention

T. Brad Harris, Ning Li, Bradley L. Kirkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using the group engagement model, we hypothesize that two differentiated leadership constructs - LMX differentiation at the group level and a new construct, LMX relational separation, at the individual-within-group level - interact with LMX to affect follower citizenship behaviors (OCB) and turnover intentions. Data from 223 followers and their leaders situated across 60 workgroups demonstrate that the effects of individual perceived LMX quality are contingent upon a group's overall variability in LMX (i.e., LMX differentiation) and employees' similarity in terms of LMX with their coworkers (i.e., LMX relational separation). Specifically, the effects of high quality LMX relationships on OCB and turnover intentions are weaker when group LMX differentiation or employees' LMX relational separation is higher, rather than lower. Our findings contribute to a growing stream of multilevel LMX research incorporating climate effects and offer an alternative view of differentiated leadership in groups. Key implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-328
Number of pages15
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Keywords

  • Group engagement model
  • LMX differentiation
  • LMX relational separation
  • Leader-member exchange
  • Organizational citizenship behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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