Leader-member exchange and work value congruence: a multiple levels approach

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Virginia Tech

This research examines leadership exchange relationships within the social framework of interpersonal work values. The three major purposes of this effort are: (1) to determine whether the dyad is the appropriate level of analysis at which to study leader-member relationships; (2) to determine if traditional measures of leader-member exchanges (leadership attention and quality of exchange) are less important as predictors of relevant outcomes than competence, loyalty, and liking (dimensions reported to be better representations of the exchange relationship); and (3) whether convergence by the leader and the member on a common set of work values makes a difference in the exchange relationship.

Multi-source data (matching superior-subordinate reports) for 110 dyads indicate that the leader-member exchange relationship is best described at the dyad level when Within and Between Analysis (WABA) is employed to test the relationship. These results also reveal that traditional measures of the leader-member exchange relationship cannot be totally discounted when examining the dimensionality of the exchange. Quality of exchange and leader attention continue to explain important variance over and above that which can be explained by the newer affective dimensions. However, competence, liking, and loyalty alone are better predictors of subordinate performance, commitment, and turnover intentions.

Convergence on leader-member interpersonal work values is not only a direct predictor of organizational commitment, turnover intentions, and job satisfaction, but also contributes significantly to additional explained variance over and above the effects shown by the leader-member exchange. Future research should continue to examine these important social/psychological processes which occur between the leader and his or her subordinates at the dyad level of analysis utilizing multi-source data analytic techniques.