The X-Factor: On the Relevance of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories for Leader-Member Exchange (Lmx) Agreement

60 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2009

See all articles by Suzanne van Gils

Suzanne van Gils

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Niels Van Quaquebeke

Kühne Logistics University

D.L. van Knippenberg

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Date Written: 20 2009, 11

Abstract

While Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) research shows that leaders engage in different kinds of relationships with different followers, it remains somewhat of an enigma why one and the same relationship is often rated differently by a leader and the respective follower. We seek to fill that conceptual void by explaining when and why such LMX disagreement is likely to occur. To do so, we reconsider antecedents of LMX quality perceptions and outline how each party’s LMX quality perception is primarily dependent on the perceived contributions of the other party, moderated by perceived own contributions. We then integrate the notion of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories (ILTs and IFTs) to argue that the currencies of contributions differ between leaders and followers. This dyadic model sets the stage to explain that LMX disagreement can stem from (1) differences in both parties’ ILTs as well as both parties’ IFTs, but also from (2) differences in perceptions of own and other’s behavior. We conclude by discussing communication as a means of overcoming LMX disagreement and propose an array of potential studies along the lines of our conceptualization.

Keywords: implicit followership theory, implicit leadership theory, Leader-Member Exchange, leadership

JEL Classification: M10, L2, M12, M, M12

Suggested Citation

van Gils, Suzanne and Van Quaquebeke, Niels and Van Knippenberg, Daan, The X-Factor: On the Relevance of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories for Leader-Member Exchange (Lmx) Agreement (20 2009, 11). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2009-055-ORG, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1521372

Suzanne Van Gils

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Niels Van Quaquebeke

Kühne Logistics University ( email )

Großer Grasbrook 17
Hamburg, 20457
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.the-klu.org/quaquebeke/

Daan Van Knippenberg

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

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