This study provides two important contributions to the study of leader–member exchange (LMX): it examines (1) the longitudinal effects of LMX and (2) the importance of LMX balance, that is, leader–follower agreement in LMX. The study was set up among 82 researchers in academic research groups in Sweden. Specifically, LMX was examined to predict followers’ creative performance at the time of LMX rating and three years later. The study also examined the relationship between LMX balance and followers’ creative performance. Results are that leader-rated LMX, but not follower-rated LMX, predicts followers’ creative performance (measured as publications) both at the time of LMX rating and three years later. Additionally, followers display stronger creative performance in relationships when leaders and followers agree that LMX quality is high (contrasted with imbalanced relationships and balanced, low-quality relationships) at the time of LMX rating. In conclusion, leaders’ (rather than followers’) perceptions of dyads are more important in LMX research than was previously found. Moreover, they have long-term effects on followers’ creativity.
Sven Hemlin and Cajsa Lisa Katniss Olsson
This chapter reports on a study that showed how followers in academic and industrial R & D groups perceived when and how group leaders stimulated their creativity as well as why they this was believed to be creative. A modified version of the critical incident technique was used in interviews with followers to collect creative incidents. Data were subject to a content analysis. The procedure resulted in six situational, six behavioral and six reason categories. The highest ranked categories according to frequency of behavioral incidents dealt with how leaders provided expertise. This was typically done in situations of research meetings and supervision. The most frequent reasons were attributed to the advancement of research. University and industry respondents to a great extent reported similar incidents, but a few differences were found. Leader behavior when stimulating creativity in R & D groups is discussed. Finally, limitations, further research and implications of the study are suggested.