Comparing the effects of interpersonal and intergroup relative leader–member exchange in nested workgroups

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Hu Li
Sihong Huang
Jane Yan Jiang
Cite this article:  Li, H., Huang, S., & Jiang, J. (2023). Comparing the effects of interpersonal and intergroup relative leader–member exchange in nested workgroups. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 51(1), e11978.


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In this study we explored the influence on employees of interpersonal relative leader–member exchange and intergroup relative leader–member exchange in regard to work behaviors with different levels of risk and uncertainty (i.e., task performance vs. innovative behavior), depending on subgroup uncertainty. We examined our theoretical model by surveying 309 employees in 58 member subgroups. Results showed that both interpersonal and intergroup relative leader–member exchange were positively associated with internal and temporary workers’ task performance, interpersonal relative leader–member exchange was positively associated with the innovative behavior of internal workers but not temporary workers, and intergroup relative leader–member exchange was positively related to temporary workers’ innovative behavior but negatively linked to internal workers’ innovative behavior. Our findings suggest that the effects of interpersonal and intergroup relative leader–member exchange on members’ behaviors may vary with the subgroup identities.

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