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    Beyond relationship quality: the role of leader-member exchange importance in leader-follower Dyads

    Lee, A. and Thomas, G. and Martin, R. and Guillaume, Y. and Marstand, Anders (2019) Beyond relationship quality: the role of leader-member exchange importance in leader-follower Dyads. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 92 (4), pp. 736-763. ISSN 0963-1798.

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    In this paper we introduce a novel construct, Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) importance, which we position as a meta-perception indicating whether followers view their LMX relationship as personally important or valuable to them. Based on social exchange theory, we examine the extent to which the obligation followers feel towards their leader depends jointly on the quality and the importance of the LMX relationship. We examine how LMX importance influences the process through which LMX quality affects employees’ level of organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) by focusing on felt obligation (a measure of followers’ reciprocity obligation in the social exchange process) as a mediating variable. Across two studies, we found that high levels of both LMX quality and LMX importance interacted to engender a greater feeling of obligation in followers to repay the perceived favourable exchanges with their leader. Felt obligation predicted leader-rated OCB, demonstrating support for our hypothesised moderated mediation model. However, psychological empowerment, when included alongside felt obligation (in Study 2) did not mediate the LMX-OCB relationship. Overall, our findings extend the focus of LMX theory beyond the confines of LMX quality to incorporate the importance of the LMX relationship.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): felt obligation, leader–member exchange, LMX importance, organizational citizenship behaviour, psychological empowerment
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Anders Marstand
    Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 09:23
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:49


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