An investigation of the multidimensionality of supervisor- subordinate exchange relationships

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Virginia Tech

This field study investigated the supervisor's and subordinate's perception of the LMX relationship and organizational outcome variables. The major purposes of this study were: (1) to determine whether the dyad is the appropriate level of analysis for the examination of supervisor-subordinate relationships, (2) to determine what qualities are important in defining negotiating latitude, the most commonly used measure of LMX, and (3) to determine whether these qualities would be better predictors of organizational outcome variables than negotiating latitude.

Ninety-five supervisor-subordinate dyads from 20 supervisor groups in a department of a regional telephone company completed questionnaires. Congruence was found between the subordinates' and supervisors' perception of the LMX relationship and several outcome measures. That is, dyad means were found to represent LMX relationships when within and Between Analyses (WABA) were employed to test the dyad (e.g., LMX) versus group (e.g.! ALS) level of analysis. This study also found that Dienesch and Liden's (1986) proposed dimensions of loyalty, liking, and competence were related to negotiating latitude at the dyad level. In addition. loyalty, liking, and competence were better predictors of overall satisfaction, work satisfaction, growth satisfaction, turnover intention, and supervisor performance rating than negotiating latitude alone.