A network of working relationships and its influence on individual job outcomes

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Keup, Linda C.
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A model of the interpersonal relationships among work group members was developed and tested. Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory and Team-Member Exchange (TMX) theory provided the foundation for this work. The model extends the findings of a quarter-century of LMX research to all dyadic relationships within a work group. This cluster of dyadic member-member relationships (M xjMyjXCO), as well as the Leader-Member relationship (LMX) and Team-Member relationship (TMX), were analyzed for their association with individual job outcomes. Four hundred (400) individual workers' networks of work relationships were tested in a field study of three organizations in two North American countries. The leaders in the sample did not differentiate their relationships with their followers to the extent that previous research had established. Subordinates within the work groups, however, made clear distinction among their relationships with co-workers and reported having relatively different relationships with the leader as well. Respondents reported relationships with higher levels of trust, support, and loyalty with individuals whom they perceived to be similar to themselves in values, perspective, and work behaviours. The leader-member relationship (LMX) was confirmed as a correspondent with the outcomes of job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment. The cluster of dyadic mem er-member relationships (MxjMyj XCO) was related to an individual's perceptions of group cohesiveness, group effectiveness, and group performance. The relationship between an individual and the work group as a whole (TMX) proved to be: the most significant of the three relationships, as it was related to all five of the job outcomes tested. Significant interactions were minimal.