Influence of leader behavior

Influence of leader behavior on the leader-member exchange relationship


During last few decades many researches has given much importance to LXM (Leader-member exchange) in contest of fields like human resource management and organizational behavior. Many studies have looked at conclusions and past history of leader-member exchange. Researchers have been emphasizing the relationship of LMX with other variables like organization justice with OCB and perceived organizational support(POS) and some would discover some mediating variables between LMX and other variables. The current article which I have selected for study "Influence of leader behavior on the leader-member exchange relationship is written by Gary Yukl, Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Taber and published in Journal Emerald of Social Sciences in 2009. The topic of the article demonstrates the purpose of study, the author in this article want to investigate the impacts of leadership behavior on LMX.

Relevance to the Management

Leader-Member Exchange

In management Leader-member exchange (LMX) is very important. Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory represents the dyadic relationship between leader and subordinate (Dansereau et al., 1975; Graen and Cashman, 1975) (Gerstner & Day, 1997; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995).Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory suggests that quality of the exchange relationships that have been between employees and their leaders promise the highly productive attitudes of employees and it differ from one employee to other employee (Gerstner & Day, 1997; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). The leader makes available desired results, tasks and additional responsibilities, and more rewards by using this kind of relationship. During this process, the employees are estimated to be committed with their job and trustworthy to the leader. If LMX creates low-quality relationships, then employees are supposed to perform the official requirements of their jobs. Where as high-quality LMX are created due to mutual trust, respect, and obligation that generate coherence between an employee and his or her supervisor. For the leader point of view high LMX recommend numerous results for a leader. In their meta-analysis of studies on LMX outcomes, Gerstner and Day (1997) found that LMX was correlated positively with subordinate performance, satisfaction with supervision, overall job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and role clarity.

A more recent study by Erdogan and Liden (2002) shows additional positive outcomes like more innovation, less job stress, and greater workplace safety of LMX. In contrast, Low-quality exchange relationship creates hierarchy-based downward influence and distance between the leaders and subordinates.

Lot of the research of LMX has focused on outcomes rather than antecedents (Erdogan and Liden, 2002). In their early development of LMX theory, Graen and Cashman (1975) specially noted that leader behaviors towards individual subordinates help to shape the quality of the exchange relationship with each subordinate. Moreover, the initial formulation of the theory addressed level of analysis issues involving the appropriate way to analyze leader behavior ratings from multiple subordinates (Dansereau et al., 1975). it is surprising that so little attention has been given to leader behaviors as an antecedent of LMX.

Leadership Behavior

Most research on the relationship of leader behavior to LMX has been focused on transformational leadership behavior (Bass and Avolio, 1990). The four primary behaviors were individualized consideration (providing support, encouragement, and coaching), idealized influence (symbolic behavior and leading by example), inspirational motivation (articulating an ideological vision) and intellectual stimulation (encouraging innovative thinking). Many researches found that LMX was correlated considerably with a composite measure of transformational leadership (Basu and Green, 1997; Bettencourt, 2004;Howell and Hall-Merenda, 1999; Lee, 2008; Piccolo and Colquitt, 2006; Pillai et al., 1999;Tse and Lam, 2008; Wang et al., 2005). Only one study concluded that specific types of transformational leader behavior are related independently to LMX . During the research of Deluga (1992) originate positive relationship with LMX for individualized consideration. Only some studies have proposed the relationship between LMX and two types of leader behaviors that are not considered transformational. Delegation by the leader was related to LMX in studies by Ansari et al. (2007), Yukl and Fu (1999), and Schriesheim et al. (1998). Consulting with subordinates regarding decisions was study by Yukl and Fu (1999).Transformational leadershipis the is consist of relations-oriented and change-oriented behaviors (Yukl, 1999) Our primary research objective was to examine how LMX is related to specific leadership behaviors that have been identified as relevant for understanding effective leadership. We included a much broader range of leadership behaviors than any of the earlier LMX studies. In addition to transformational behaviors, we included task-oriented behaviors and some relations-oriented behaviors that are not transformational. The ten behaviors included in the study are defined in below Table.

Supporting Acting considerate, showing sympathy and support when someone is upset or anxious, and providing encouragement and support when there is a difficult, stressful task

Recognizing Providing praise and recognition for effective performance, significant achievements, special contributions, and performance improvements

Developing Providing coaching and advice, providing opportunities for skill development, and helping people learn how to improve their skills

Consulting Checking with people before making decisions that affect them, encouraging participation in decision making, and using the ideas and suggestions of others

Delegating Assigning new responsibilities and additional authority to carry them out, and trusting people to solve problems and make decisions without getting prior approval

Clarifying Assigning tasks and explaining job responsibilities, task objectives, and performance expectations

Short-term planning Determining how to use personnel and resources to accomplish a task efficiently, and determining how to schedule and coordinate unit activities efficiently

Monitoring operations Checking on the progress and quality of the work, and evaluating individual and unit performance

Leading by example Setting an example of exemplary behavior for subordinates, and modeling behaviors that reflect the leader's values and standards

Envisioning change Describing appealing outcomes that can be achieved by the unit, describing a proposed change with great enthusiasm and conviction

In the light of above-mentioned theories, it is concluded that a firm can create the productive and favorable employees' attitude if its leaders creates the supporting environment by developing more productive behavior of the leaders . Under the social exchange theory there is mutual relation can be seen between leader and employees. Subordinates involved more in some extra activities away from their formal job duties to improve the firm's effectiveness when employees are treated reasonably. Leader-Member exchange is one of the leadership theories which conclude that employees perform more if there is best dyadic relationship between leader and his follower. And this kind of relationship is strengthen with the behaviors of the Leaders The article under discussion is found that study of Leaders behaviors which is central theme of Human Resource Management. So it is concluded that leader behaviors will foster the firm effectiveness by improving the employees' attitudes to carry out the organizational goals efficiently.

Explanation of the model:

The model that has been developed in the research includes mainly two variables. LMX is taken as dependent variable and leader behavior is taken as Independent variable. Their relation is tested and verified using previous researches and some statistical tools. Our prime research objective was to inspect how LMX is correlated to leadership behaviors regarding effective leadership. In this study a much broader range incorporated of leadership behaviors than any of the prior LMX researches. This study included only those transformational behaviors which were task-oriented. And also consider relations-oriented behaviors that are not transformational.

Following results are obtained in this research.

  1. It is concluded that the supporting was tested and has positive relationship with quality of LMX.
  2. It was also proved by the research that , recognizing have an positive direct relationship with quality of LMX.
  3. Developing is related positively to the quality of LMX.
  4. Consulting is related positively to the quality of LMX.
  5. Delegating behavior is related positively to the quality of LMX.

The sample included 248 respondents from a diverse set of industries, organizations, and occupations. The sample included nearly an equal number of male and female respondents, and the mean age of respondents was approximately 37 years. Approximately, half the respondents held professional positions, and the next two most frequent types of jobs were technical positions (14 percent) and managerial positions (13 percent).

The scale used for this research is LMX-7.

The five relations-oriented behaviors all significantly predicted LMX ( p , 0.05) in the first step of the analysis (F 75.92, p > 0.01, adjusted R 2 0.60). No significant results were found for any of the three task-oriented behaviors added in the second step of the analysis. When the two change-oriented transformational behaviors were added in the third step of the analysis, leading by example was a significant predictor but envisioning change was not. The change-oriented transformational behaviors only explained an additional one percent of the variance in LMX (F change 3.06, p > 0.05, adjusted R 2 0.61). Results for four of the five relations-oriented behaviors remained significant in the second and third steps of the regression, but the results for developing were only marginally significant ( p > 0.10).

The result of the study indicates that obtained results are relevant to our proposed hypothesis.

Critical Review Of the Research Article:

As discussed earlier, the characteristics article addresses one of the theories of leadership and leadership behavior. Past researches have been inspecting the relationship of LMX with different variables Like POS(perceived organization support),OCB(organizational citizenship behaviors) etc. directly. And also the relationship is checked by taking different moderating variables. Present research accomplished by Gary Yukl, Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Taber in 2008. This study shows the important connection of Leader's behavior with LMX.

There are a lot of things in this article that are in the favor. I have also brought into being some of the deficiencies in the current study.

First of all the topic selected for research is a good one because of having current practical implementation and universality in its application regardless of geographical boundaries, nature and size of the organization. In the present epoch every organization around the globe is facing the problems of employee's dissatisfaction due behavior of top level managers and due to this always tried to change their current organization. This research will help managers to understand the leader's behaviors which will be supporting for creating the good work atmosphere. This research also point out behaviors of leaders which are effected the employees inadequately .

The current study reflected that LMX is affected by ten kinds of behaviors of leaders. When examined the combined effect of all these analysis, we have seen that supporting and leading by example were the only transformational behaviors which are independently related to LMX. This results shows our consistency with the results of Deluga (1992) . We also bring into being that LMX was also predicted independently by three leader behaviors which are relations-oriented behaviors namely recognizing, consulting, and delegating.

The theoretical framework of the research is complex still very self explanatory.

In the methodology LMX was regressed onto the five relations-oriented behaviors in the first step. The three task behaviors (clarifying, planning, and monitoring) were added in the second step, and leading by example and envisioning change were added in the third step. This methodology creates the complexity.

Despite of this complexity we have got results whish are favoring our hypothesis.

Disadvantage Of Research:

First drawback which I observed during the literature review is that five aspects of Leadership behaviors are taken to conduct the research but other remaining five are not taken to formulate the hypothesis. For future researches other five will also consider independently for more sophisticated results especially in the organizations where all five are in practicing and the results of organization is not good.

Moreover this study indicates the importance moderator variables between LMX and leaders behaviors and indicates cognitional culture as one moderator variable but it do not highlights the name of other potential moderators.

This research is conducted only in one country America but not held in other parts of the world. So we do not believe fully on the results of the current study. For acceptance of results we will apply this research on the countries of other parts of the world.

One thing that was missed by author is symbolic representation of the model.

Another fault is that the presentation of data it not give us the proper information which are not represent in the tabulation form like about the value of "p" and "f"

Similarly the results did not verify by the different sample size and by changing nature and gender of the sample.

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