Discussion Questions and Exercises

  1. What is the focal point of LMX theory? How does LMX theory challenge a basic assumption common to prior theories?
  2. Explain LMX theory, including the following concepts: vertical dyads, in-group and out-group, and personality and subordinate initiative as predictors of group status.
  3. Contrast the experiences of in-group and out-group members. Have you observed groups that fit these descriptions in an organization in which you work or with which you affiliate? Give specific examples to support your observations.
  4. What are the specific benefits of high-quality leader–member relationships for leaders?
  5. Summarize the results of later studies addressing LMX theory and organizational effectiveness.
  6. What new understandings of LMX were revealed by the Gerstner and Day (1997) meta-analysis? Why is it important to measure LMX from both the perspective of the leader and follower?
  7. According to the research cited in our textbook, how does electronic communication between leaders and followers impact their relationship quality?
  8. In what ways has technology use enhanced or hindered your working relationship with a leader or follower? For example: texting (instead of phoning), use of social media sites (instead of in-person conversation), and so on.
  9. What are employee citizenship behaviors and how are they related to LMX?
  10. Explain the concept of leadership making and characterize its three phases.
  11. Can you think of an example where a leader’s effective management of a conflict at work improved his/her relationship with followers?
  12. What is the relationship between LMX and employee empowerment?
  13. Explain differences in goal accomplishment using in-groups as compared to out-groups.
  14. What do Graen and Uhl-Bien prescribe of leaders?
  15. Paraphrase the first criticism of LMX theory.
  16. How can LMX be used by CEOs to develop tactical relationships within their organizations?
  17. Complete the LMX 7 Questionnaire. How would you interpret the results? Give an example from your own experience that supports the results of this questionnaire.
  18. Complete Case 7.3. (or 7.1 or 7.2). Answer all questions.