The Critique on Lmx Theory

Article Analysis Of Leader-member exchange development: A hospitality antecedent investigation By: Carl P. Borchgrevink and Franklin J. Boster Mahidol University International College ICTM 510 Organizational Behavioral Studies Panida Anukul (ID:5438852) Vijittra Chookhae (ID:5438858) Wimonwan Liwchavaroj (ID:5438855) Kitcharatt Nartetamrongsutt (ID:5438848) Introduction In any work setting, one of the most vital relationships is that of the supervisors and their subordinates.

It is an important relationship as these two sides must consistently communicate with each other in order to get their tasks completed successfully and satisfactorily. Moreover, communication between a supervisor and their subordinates will also bring about a better understanding of not only what the subordinates’ want or need, but also of what the supervisor expects from its members as well, resulting in a more ideal working environment and thus leading to higher retention. This relationship is termed as Leader-Member Exchange (LMX), which is a theme that is currently being giving increase attention in academic literatures.

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In previous days, research on leadership has been done with the understanding that all leaders interact with all of their subordinates in the same way. However, leadership research has now evolved to accept that each supervisor has different ways of communicating with their subordinates. Research on LMX has shown that it has an impact on many aspects in the working atmosphere. What research is lacking, though, was the factors that lead to LMX. The academic literature “Leader-member exchange development: a hospitality antecedent investigation” by Carl P.

Borchgrevink and Franklin J. Boster attempts to investigate what factors will lead to LMX based on data from previous academic researches, emphasizing on the hospitality industry, and testing them through statistical methods. In this paper, the authors first describe the correlation of LMX with different subordinates’ behaviors in the working place, then describes the possible antecedents to LMX, followed by a statistical analysis to find which potential factors would be the actual leading factors to LMX, and ending with a discussion of the results.

In the next section, a brief summary and key points of this academic paper is described. LMX & Subordinate Behavior The authors have gathered the effects of LMX on subordinates and have described them as follows: * Turnover and occupational commitment: A company with low quality LMX, or those with low communication skills between the supervisor and subordinate, will result in employees quitting their job more frequent than those with high quality LMX. Meanwhile, a high correlation was found between LMX quality and organizational commitment. Performance: Findings to this category have been a mixed one, suggesting that there are other factors that are more likely to affect performance than LMX. However, task characteristics have been found to affect job performance. If a task is unpredictable and highly variable, then LMX is related positively to performance and supervision will be needed. However, if the task is routine, LMX is still positively related as it means that socio-emotional support may be needed. Any tasks that are between these extremes, LMX will have no impact on performance. Communication at work: The quality of LMX is positively related to administrative and planning communication. It is also found that social support in both work and non-work related issues correlate positively to LMX while avoidance and message distortion for image management purposes correlate negatively. * Job satisfaction: LMX quality has been found to have a positive relationship with job satisfaction. It has been summarized that this finding is important for organizations to the degree that organizations value satisfied employees. Organizational climate: It was stated that research in this area is important because the perception of organizational climate will affect the relationship between the organizational context and individual responses. * Burnout: Research in LMX and occupational burnout has been done as it is a great concern in many industries as it has a negative effect on both employees and the organization. The three dimensions of occupational burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishments, all have strong relationships with LMX. These findings could help the organization raise the quality of LMX through trainings.

Potential LMX Antecedents The authors have then raised two main factors which could be potential keys that lead to LMX. * Intradyadic communication: The authors have hypothesized that intradyadic communication, or simply the exchange of information between supervisor and subordinate, is one of the main factors that lead to a high quality LMX. The paper has also cited a Role Theory that involves three steps during intradyadic communication. The three steps include Role Taking, which involves the communication from leaders to their members on the expectations of their role in the organization.

The second is Role Making, where both supervisor and subordinates start to develop their way of communication to each other and start to take more about their respective roles. Lastly is Role Routinization, where it is stated that role behaviors and dyadic communication become routine and clear expectations are now known between both supervisors and subordinates. * LMX and social power: Five bases of social power were hypothesized as leaders to LMX have been presented. Coercive power is when one is able to give out a form of punishment when the other is unable to perform a desired behavior.

Reward power, on the contrary, is when one can give something in value to the other when a desired behavior is performed. Expert power is when one perceives another as a person with greater knowledge, skill, or ability in a particular task. Referent power exists when others identify with them and will conform so that one-day they will be able to follow their footsteps. And lastly, legitimate power is when one has the authority to order others to behave in certain ways. By combining all these factors, the authors have summarized the potential antecedents into the following model:

The authors have hypothesized that intradyadic communication, coercive, reward, expert, and legitimate powers are antecedents to LMX. Meanwhile, they have also suggested that LMX is the antecedent to referent power. Method & Statistical Analysis To test out their hypothesis, the authors have sent out 965 questionnaires to 22 hospitality companies, which include hotels, restaurants, foodservice companies, foodservice suppliers, and a hospitality educational company. The companies were sent a letter to their executives who were alumnus to a hospitality business school of a large Midwestern university.

The respondents measure potential antecedents through a scale system, in which each antecedents have different detailed questions. Meanwhile, standard demographic, work experience and job tenure measures were also included into the questionnaire. Out of 965 surveys, 515 usable responses were obtained, accounting for 53 percent of the total survey sent out. Out of the usable responses, 52 percent were female, while the average number of years the respondents have been at their present job is 5. 5 years. The majority of the respondents were Caucasian, at 81. 7 percent, followed by African-Americans (4. %), Native American (3. 5%), Hispanic (3. 1%) and Asian or Pacific Islanders (1. 7%) The scores from the potential antecedents are then processed using regression analysis. LMX was regressed on intradyadic communication, reward, coercive, expert, and legitimate powers. Meanwhile, referent power was regressed on LMX as it is predicted to be a precedent to LMX. From this, it was found that not only LMX, but also expert power was an antecedent to referent power. Therefore, the new casual model, which has become inconsistent to the hypothesis, is portrayed as follows: Discussion

As the result was almost completely consistent with the hypothesis, with the exception of expert power, the authors have emphasized on the importance of the remaining antecedents. For communication between supervisors and subordinates, whether it is a work or non-work related issue, it should be that of an intradyadic communication and not from a leader to the members at large. As for coercive power, in order to reduce the negativity, the power should be authorized to a number of supervisors, for example a panel or committee, instead of giving it to a single person.

For reward power, it was stated that subordinates who have supervisors who have the ability to give rewards, and do so, will perceive the benefits of developing a good work relationship with their leaders. As referent power, which has been agreed that is a result of LMX, is said to be created because the subordinates and supervisors create a good relationship together. Hence, the subordinates feel that they can relate to their leaders and want to be successful like them, in which will resulting in them conforming to their leaders.

Expert power, or one’s superior knowledge or ability, is what subordinates determine in a leader to see whether they want to be like them or not. After analyzing the academic paper, we have found some strengths and weaknesses in LMX and will be elaborating them in the following sections. In the last section, we will provide some suggestions we feel that could make LMX LMX Outstanding Points The outstanding points of the article can be divided into two main categories as follows: Theory methodology aspect Focus on dyadic relationship: LMX theory is an exceptional theory of leadership as unlike the other theories, it points and concentrates about specific relationships between the leader and each individual subordinate. Dyadic relationship is pointed out in the theory and becomes the centerpiece of the leadership process. * Applicable and reasonable: The LMX theory itself is a robust explanatory theory and applicable as a great number of reviews, documents, journals approve that LMX is significant in the company and organization setting.

Research methodology aspect * Research problem vs. Research results: In the article, the authors have clearly addressed their research objective and the final results and discussion answer the research hypothesis. The research methodology serves and is in parallel with the objective of this study, which is to clarify antecedents of LMX. * Literature reviews: The article has given resourceful review of literatures related to leader-member relationship. The researchers use variety of references to back up the primary hypothesis.

The references include trustworthy academic journals, books, research papers in the areas of applied psychology, organizational behaviors, hospitality business, human performance, communication, which are apparently relevant to LMX. * Research Method: The researchers used rational and systematic research methods and procedures to narrow down the possible antecedents to LMX. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to test the validity of the proposed antecedents used in this study. Regression analysis is followed to measure the correlation of those antecedents and to test the validity of the hypothesis.

Path analysis was later used to demonstrate the structure model of the final outcome after hypotheses were tested. Weaknesses of LMX Research methodology aspect * Though the respondents’ race/nationality seems to cover both Western and Eastern regions, however, of 94. 6% of respondents who identified their race, there was only 1. 7% who were from the Eastern region (Asia and Pacific Island). This fiercely difference of respondents’ ethnic may have an effect on the implication or interpretation of the research result.

Attitude and perception toward leadership philosophy and interpersonal aspect can be varied amongst cultures as each culture forms and implants different beliefs or react differently to leadership styles and interpersonal relationships. For instance, U. S. culture has a character of individualism and therefore may form relationships between leader and member within the scope of business interest in their workplace rather than non-job related interests as they may not see the imperative to develop the non-job related discussion.

Meanwhile in some Asian countries like India, China or Thailand, people culturally give emphasis on the importance of ‘group-culture’ such as family, friends or any other forms of social exchange. Therefore, interactions between leader and member often do not limit to just work issues but personal issues are discussed as well. These interactions have a psychological impact to the quality of leader-member relationship. Notwithstanding, it can be said that race or ethnic is an imperative influence factor which needs to be controlled to ascertain the reliability of the research interpretation.

According to the stated rationale, there is a necessity to pinpoint that whether or not this research result is reliably applicable, in terms of managerial implication, for Easterner companies or companies located where Easterners are the majority population. * There is one limitation in generalizability of the research. The companies participated in the research were requested through one source only—an alumni of a university working in the companies. Although the respondents may or may not be a member of the alumni, it is, however, redictable that their perceptions and beliefs are somewhat influenced by the companies’ cultures and values. It is, therefore, feasible to state that these companies may share some homogeneous cultural characteristics or values which may result in a tendency to homogenize the result of the research as similar contribution from the survey respondents can be anticipated. Moreover, wider source of sampling could have been collected in order to enhance the quality of research generalizability and business implication.

Since the researchers intended to emphasize their research within the hospitality industry extent, unfortunately, the company selections did not cover other potential business sectors in the realm of tourism and hospitality such as transportation service sector or tour operators. These two sectors are known to play vital and integrated role in tourism and hospitality system. People who work in the aforementioned sectors may uphold different values, perceptions, attitude or behaviors toward the social exchange between leader and member comparing to other hospitality business sectors such as hotels, restaurants or academic institution.

This assumption is based upon the fact that each business unit contains different nature of its operation and working environment forced by internal and external factors such as degree of competition, whether controllable or uncontrollable, these factors have an impact on the organization culture which subsequently forms the mind-set of its people. * Based upon the casual model, legitimate power was not a surviving factor. Unfortunately, there is no support description of the rationale why the said factor is no longer valid.

Legitimate power refers to the ‘right’ of the leader to prescribe his or her subordinate’s required behaviors to achieve an expected performance. This is still ambiguous which would require further study. Theoretical aspect * Though the LMX theory suggests leaders to develop positive relationships with members, leading to positive exchange with these individuals, the theory does not illustrate specific leadership characteristics or competencies that influence quality of LMX or other factors that might influence the LMX quality.

The LMX model only points out what are the fundamental mediators of leader-member relationships and leaders may initiate either an in-group or an out-group relationship with members as they develop different interpersonal relations with these individuals. This point makes the LMX theory superficial. Therefore, it is imperative for executives to extend the knowledge into the area of effective leadership competencies that are particularly in parallel with specific organization’s values and cultures to enhance the quality of social exchange between leaders and members.

In addition, the more current researches could be taken into account to ensure efficient and versatile implementation of LMX theory. Recent research has moved beyond examined the antecedents and relationships to the influential factors that impact quality of LMX. For instance, the extension of role theory was reported by Uhl-Bien (2000) which suggested that during the process of role agreement development, quality of LMX will be higher if leader and member have mutually agreed goals.

This result will also lead to higher organization productivity as the members are committed to the goal they took part to develop. Additionally, recent research reported an additional factor that influences quality of LMX-which is ‘gender’. Opposite-sex dyad tends to generate a better LMX quality than the same-sex dyad. Personality variability, similarity, time pressure on the jobs were also reviewed in many literatures that they have influential impact on the quality of relationship between leader and member. The LMX theory focuses on the local relationship between the supervisor and subordinate and offers a ‘latitude’ or ‘vertical’ outlook of relationships. However, since an organization is viewed as a system of interrelated parts, more research could be done on a different dimension which is ‘horizontal’ or ‘longitudinal’ dimension of relationship. The horizontal relationship dimension shifts away from leader-member exchange to the social exchange between member-member and even between groups within an rganization. The quality of interaction between members themselves and between groups is also predicted to have high impact on the organization performance. This should provide a wider spectrum of how to manage the relationship within an organization as a whole. If implemented, it may help to maximize, not only the human capital but also the social capital for an organization. * Though the theory primarily introduced that they focused on examining the ‘dyadic’ relationships—or two-component relationship.

However, the degree of examination emphasis evidenced from the research survey is highly weighted upon the leader side. From the measurement model, the items used to examine the relationship are mostly (approximately 83%) checked against the leader’s quality aspects, tapping on subordinate’s perception of supervisor (as shown in table 1. Final factor solution). While there is an approximately 17% of total items that measure against the subordinates’ perception of themselves. This therefore, makes the research rely heavily on how the leader behaves toward subordinate, not equally the other way around.

To enhance the LMX theory to serves its original objective in measuring ‘dyadic’ relationship between leader and member, there should be an investigation or examination conducted on the followership side as this seems to be a missing aspect or rarely investigated from the research. Member behaviors and their attribution are feasible to have impact on determining LMX quality. Upwardly research on how followership impacts the leadership could enrich the study and provide the more well-rounded inputs to the organizations. Coercive power was obviously perceived by the researchers in the negative way which was evidenced from the questionnaires items used in the research. However, coercive power may construct a positive relationship between leader and member in certain circumstances such as sexual harassment. A subordinate who is harassed, if immediately backed up by a superior who uses his or her coercive power to correct the situation and conducts necessary punishments on the harasser, tends to establish trust and respect toward the superior as he or she feels secured. Coercive power ecomes necessary in case of discipline as well. The organization can use its coercive power to enforce disciplinary policies and cultures to ensure that all members receive equally fair treatment and are treated with respect to avoid ethical issues which consequently results in positive working environment and relationships between not only leader and member but also between the member and the organization. Another constructive advantage the leader can gain from utilizing coercive power is when implementing important change where immediate and precise instruction is required.

Suggestions The article concerning about Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) was originally introduced as the Vertical Dyad Linkage model. The theory also acknowledges that both parties contribute to the development and maintenance of the ongoing relationship quality. The research has shown that high quality relationships are associated with positive work-related outcomes, such as employee satisfaction, turnover and occupational commitment and performance.

The aim of this article is to clarify antecedents of LMX based on hospitality industry by using regression analysis and path analysis respectively. This part will focus on further development and suggestions in which the criticism will be divided into 2 sections; the research methodology aspect and the criticism on theory aspect. Research methodology aspect * The outdated research and method of collecting data should be adjusted: This article contains numerous researches that the authors cited to support their hypothesis in the article.

It shows that the authors had studied those researches in detail to make this article detail-oriented and reliable. However, if we take a look in the bibliography section, most of citations appeared are conducted for more than 20 years or some are even more than 40 years ago. For example, the authors mentioned about ‘Job descriptive index by Smith et al. in 1969’ or ‘Freudenberger explained about occupational tedium or burnout in 1974’ and ‘Graen and Ginsburgh posited a positive relationship between LMX and performance in 1977’ However, it shows that the

LMX theory is credible and applicable since it has existed and has been applied in practice for a period of time. Therefore, we suggest that if in the future there are researchers who would like to conduct the research and study further about LMX, they should be very detailed- oriented and be patient to study a large amount of information from numerous researches and be able to focus on the updated content which can be applicable in present situation.

Moreover, since the article was conducted in 1997, the process of conducting research might not be very convenient and effective in current time. It is therefore suggested that the researcher should change the method of collecting the data from mailing questionnaire to be online questionnaire instead which can help reduce cost and time consuming and also to make it convenient to the respondents so that the researchers can get the precise and concise data to conduct the research efficiently. Carefully consider and select the instrumentation: LMX is considered as the first leadership theory that deals with relationship between leaders and subordinates and since LMX measurement deals with attitude and perceptions of subordinates towards their supervisor, it is a fact that these psychological aspects of human are often difficult to quantify and measure since it involves many variables. In addition, emotion always vary and fluctuate. There is no standard if concerning about emotion.

Therefore, the researcher should be careful about choosing the instrumentation used for the theory measurement, or for any other measurement that deals with human ‘feeling’, might need to be carefully considered and selected with enough support evidences of its reliability. Theoretical Aspect * Theory implication: Since LMX theory is applicable in practice, the organization must be aware of bias since relationship between leader and subordinate can sometimes involve with immoral issue such as getting promotion. Moreover, close relationship between different genders of leader and subordinate can sometimes lead to sexual harassment as well.

Therefore, the organization should establish tools to prevent such bias. For example, well-standard review process and evaluation, which include out group manager or third party as a panel to monitor and investigate relationship issues in the organization. In summary, it is essential to note that the result of LMX relationship should not be tied directly with actual human resources management practices since positive LMX relationship could favor subordinates in promotion, performance evaluation, development opportunity and others. * Study more on other leadership theories:

The article tends to focus solely on LMX theory and praised it as the best leadership theory. However, the authors didn’t mention other leadership theories as comparison to provide support and reason why the authors claimed that LMX is the most efficient tool to deal with relationship issue in organization since the article always mentioned other theories as ‘average leadership theory’ but ignore to clarify them in detail. The further study on leadership theories could be Situational theory, Path Goal theory, Neocharismatic theory, transformational leadership (Bass’s theory) and etc.

Moreover, leadership behavior is also a good point to study in detail such as the research about leadership behavior of Ohio university, Michigan university, and Texas university which these researches will illustrate more on leader- product centered and leader- employee centered as well as Grid, a combination between leader who concerns on people and leader who concerns on result. If the article mentioned more about the strength and weakness of other leadership theories, the article will be more reliable and more rounded perspective.

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The Critique on Lmx Theory. (2016, Dec 18). Retrieved from