When my supervisor dislikes you more than me : The effect of dissimilarity in leader-member exchange on coworkers' interpersonal emotion and perceived help

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-988
Journal / PublicationJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume98
Issue number6
Early online date29 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Abstract

According to balance theory (Heider, 1958), when 2 coworkers develop different levels of leader-member exchange (LMX) relationships with their supervisor, a triadic relational imbalance will arise among the 3 parties that may result in hostile sentiments and poor social interactions between them. This study examines the consequences and psychological processes of (dis)similar levels of LMX on the interpersonal interactions between coworkers. Using data from 2 independent studies, the results of social relations analyses show that (a) actual (dis)similarity in LMX between Coworkers A and B increases oworker A's feelings of contempt for Coworker B and decreases Coworker A's perception of help received from Coworker B (Study 1); (b) Coworker A is more likely to experience contempt for oworker B when Coworker A perceives that he/she has a higher or lower level of LMX compared toCoworker B than when Coworker A perceives that his/her level of LMX is similar to Coworker B's(Study 2); and (c) these relationships only hold true for employees with a high social comparison orientation (SCO) in both Studies 1 and 2. Particularly, in Study 1, we also show that contempt is a rucial mediator that transmits the interactive effect of LMX (dis)similarity and SCO on perceptions of elp received from coworkers. Furthermore, an average level of perceived help from coworkers is positively related to the sales performance of individual employees. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

Research Area(s)

  • Contempt, Coworker dyads, Helping behavior, Leader-member exchange (LMX), Social comparison orientation (SCO)

Citation Format(s)

When my supervisor dislikes you more than me : The effect of dissimilarity in leader-member exchange on coworkers' interpersonal emotion and perceived help. / Tse, Herman H.M.; Lam, Catherine K.; Lawrence, Sandra A.; Huang, Xu.

In: Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 98, No. 6, 11.2013, p. 974-988.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review