The impact of leader-member exchange on follower performance in light of the larger social network

Gerdien Regts*, Eric Molleman, Hendrik Johan van de Brake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
183 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Relationships with leaders do not happen in isolation from the relationships one has with one's peers. Therefore, we examine the influence of leader-member exchange on follower job performance in light of the larger social networks in which followers are embedded. Testing multilevel models with data that were gathered using questionnaires from a sample of 240 nurses and 20 supervisors working at four Dutch hospitals revealed that a positive relationship exists between leader-member exchange and follower job performance when follower workflow network centrality and/or follower friendship network centrality are high but not when they are both low. The results of this study show how the different follower relationships with the supervisor and colleagues intertwine in explaining follower job performance and suggest that the larger network in which followers are embedded within their work teams is important for explaining variations in the results regarding the relationship between leader-member exchange and follower job performance. Our study indicates that leaders should have an eye for the network position of their followers when developing high quality leader-member exchange relationships. For followers, a good relationship with their leader is important, but its value depends on their relationships with colleagues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1291
Number of pages27
JournalHuman Relations
Volume72
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2019

Keywords

  • job performance
  • leader-member exchange
  • LMX
  • social exchange
  • social networks
  • PERCEIVED ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL EMPOWERMENT
  • SUBORDINATE PERFORMANCE
  • TASK INTERDEPENDENCE
  • RELATIONSHIP QUALITY
  • COWORKER EXCHANGE
  • WORK
  • EMPLOYEE
  • TEAM

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