Fostering the Implementation of Creative Ideas in Organizations
Edited by Miha Škerlavaj, Matej Černe, Anders Dysvik and Arne Carlsen
Chapter 10: Economic and social leader–member exchange, and creativity at work
Since its inception over 40 years ago, a growing body of scholarly literature has accumulated on the leader–member exchange (LMX) relationship. LMX theory began as an alternative to average leadership style (Graen and Uhl-Bien, 1995) and is based on the notion that leaders do not treat all subordinates alike, but rather develop high-quality relationships with some (that is, the ‘in-group’), and low-quality relationships with others (that is, the ‘out-group’). Unlike traditional leadership theories, LMX theory is unique in its adoption of the relationship itself as the level of analysis as opposed to explaining leadership as a ‘a function of personal characteristics of the leader, features of the situation, or an interaction between the two’ (Gerstner and Day, 1997, p. 827). While high-quality LMX relationships are long term, based on trust and mutual liking, low-quality LMX relationships are limited to the transactional part of the employment contract (Bernerth et al., 2007). To date, several meta-analytical reviews demonstrate positive associations between high-quality LMX relationships and outcomes such as performance ratings, objective performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment (for example, Graen and Uhl-Bien, 1995; Gerstner and Day, 1997; Ilies et al., 2007; Dulebohn et al., 2012; Rockstuhl et al., 2012).
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