Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Communication Studies

Abstract

Several problems have persisted in the voluminous body of leader-member exchange (LMX) literature. The most salient problem is the absence of an explicit conceptual definition of LMX in earlier theoretical works and later research. In general, LMX is treated as attributes of the leader and the leader-member relationship rather than interaction-based exchange behavior. The lack of clarity in conceptual definition has led to LMX instruments that measure a hodgepodge of leader and relationship attributes other than leader-member exchange. Consequently, findings gleaned with different LMX measures cannot be synthesized meaningfully. This essay introduces a reconceptualization of LMX as a behavior-based construct that consists of four exchange aspects: tangible work, tangible social, work communication, and social communication. A systematic approach to creating a valid measure (LMX-Behavior) is proposed for future research.

Publication Year

2015

Journal Title

Leadership

Volume number

11

Issue number

2

Publisher

213

First Page (page number)

229

Last Page (page number)

17

Referreed

1

DOI

10.1177/1742715014530935

ISSN (print)

17427150

Link to Publisher’s Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1742715014530935

Keywords

LMX, reconceptualization, exchange behavior, communication exchange

Included in

Communication Commons

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