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Lapointe, Émilie, Vandenberghe, Christian, Ben Ayed, Ahmed K., Schwarz, Gary, Tremblay, Michel and Chenevert, Denis (2020) 'Social Comparisons, Self-Conceptions, and Attributions: Assessing the Self-Related Contingencies in Leader-Member Exchange Relationships.' Journal of Business and Psychology, 35 (3). pp. 381-402.

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Research on leader-member exchange (LMX) has demonstrated that, in addition to the value of LMX as an indicator of quality relationships with leaders, employees also evaluate how their relationship with the leader compares to other employees’ relationship with the leader. This finding led to the emergence of LMX social comparison (LMXSC). This study examines how LMX vs. LMXSC relates to work outcomes and considers the employee and perceived supervisor self-concept levels as moderators. We posit that LMX predicts work performance through increased organizational commitment. We further suggest that the relational and collective levels of the self-concept act as contingencies of the relationships among LMX, LMXSC, commitment, and performance. A sample of 250 employee-supervisor dyads was used to test the hypotheses. LMX predicted commitment and, indirectly, performance. The employee and perceived supervisor relational self-concepts acted as moderators of LMXSC, and the perceived supervisor collective self-concept acted as a moderator of LMX and LMXSC. However, not all moderation hypotheses were supported. Unexpected moderating effects involving the employee and perceived supervisor individual self-concepts, as well as main effects, were also uncovered. Implications: LMX predicts work outcomes, and these relationships are contingent on the level of the employee and perceived supervisor self-concepts. LMXSC only predicts the outcomes when the self-concept variables are considered as moderators, which suggests that these variables are necessary to understand LMXSC’s effects. This study helps differentiate LMX from LMXSC and understand the role of self-conceptions, including self-conceptions attributed by employees to the leader, in leader-member relationships.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
ISSN: 08893268
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 15:53

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