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Understanding the relationship between span of control and subordinate consensus in leader-member exchange.

By B. Schyns, J.M. Maslyn and J. Weibler


Leader-member exchange (LMX) refers to the relationship quality a leader shares with members of his or her work group, typically described as differentiation in quality within the group. Numerous empirical studies demonstrate that the quality of this relationship is positively related to followers' attitudes and organizational outcomes. It has been proposed that the quality of possible relationships between the leader and the led will be affected by the number of employees directly reporting to the leader, with empirical findings showing a slight negative relationship between span of control and LMX. Little is known, however, about how span of control influences variability in the quality of leader-member exchange within the context of work groups. Therefore, following a recognized assumption to strive for as many as possible leadership relations on a high LMX level, we examine how individual- and group-level (consensus in) LMX can be based on different dimensions of the LMX relationship. We suggest how LMX consensus and a high LMX level can be established even in large spans of control

Topics: Leadership, Span of control.
Publisher: Psychology Press
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13594320903146485
OAI identifier:

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