26 SES 08 B, Principal Leadership Styles
Question: What are the differences between students and faculty members in Libyan business schools in their perceptions of leadership member exchange relationships?
Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory is widely used for studying the relationship between leaders and their followers. The main task of this theory is to examine the emotional and valued resource relationships between leaders and followers in order to develop and improve those relationships (Kang & Stewart, 2007). According to Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995), LMX theory addresses three organizational elements: the leader, the follower, and the relationship.
The relationship between the leaders and their members, according to LMX theory, goes beyond the scope of job expectations by developing exchange benefits between the leaders and members. Accordingly, the leader-member exchange relationship is defined as “a social exchange relationship that happens between the leader and members of a business organization. This relationship may develop in two ways; positive exchange or contractual exchange (Yu & Liang, 2004).
LMX theory explains the relationship between leaders and members using exchange theory. Exchange theory has been developed in two major forms; low quality LMX or out-group relationship in which the leader-member relationship is restricted by the employment contract. Leaders give their orders to the members, and the members have to obey them. High quality LMX or in-group relationship encourages the leaders to go beyond the formal employment contract and treat their members with more trust, loyalty, comfortable communication, and bi-directional influence (Minsky, 2002).
LMX theory has been used not only to exam the relationship between leaders and followers, but has been used to exam relationship between faculties and their students as well. Myers (2006) used LMX theory to exam faculty-student relationship and investigates students’ motives for communicating with their faculties, and Bowler (2001) studied teacher and student relationships using LMX theory. We did not find, however, studies of LMX in Arabic cultures and in particular we found no studies of the effects of totalitarianism on LMX relationships. Libya recently experienced the 40-year reign of Muammar Gadhafi and many of the faculty members at Libyan universities were members of Gadhafi’s revolutionary council. We have the opportunity in this paper to examine leader-follower relationships in this unique cultural milieu.
Bowler, B. J. (2001). Teacher-student relationships and leader-member exchange (LMX) theory : demographic similarities, LMX quality and instructor performance evaluations. (DBA), Nova Southeastern University. (48188150) Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective. The Leadership Quarterly, 6(2), 219-247. Kang, D.-s., & Stewart, J. (2007). Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership and HRD: Development of unite of theory and laws of interaction. Leadership & Organization, 28(6), 531-551. doi: 10.1108/01437730710780976 Liden, R. C., & Maslyn, J. M. (1998). Multidimensionality of leader-member exchange: An empirical assessment through scale development. Journal of Management, 24(1), 43-72. Minsky, B. D. (2002). LMX dyad agreement: construct definition and the role of supervisor/subordinate similarity and communication in understanding LMX. (PhD), Louisiana State University. Myers, S. A. (2006). Using leader-member exchange theory to explain students' motives to communicate. Communication Quarterly, 54(3), 293-304. doi: 10.1080/01463370600878008 Yu, D., & Liang, J. (2004). A new model for examining the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. Human Resource Development International, 7(2), 251-264. doi: 10.1080/1367886042000243826
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