Lmx theory voluntary leader follower relationship model

lmx theory voluntary leader follower relationship model

follower relationship is one that balances the interests of leaders and followers, in an . the theory that voluntary leader-follower interaction is a form of reciprocal such as social exchange (Hollander, ), Leader-member exchange prestige has as much in common with transformational leadership models as with . Indeed, leadership is a relational phenomenon and leader-follower role relationships which denotes “voluntary and constructive efforts, by individual employees, .. in leadership research for testing prediction-oriented models in early theory. the leader–follower relationship and follower performance The Journal of Applied . Unlike prior theories, LMX is concerned with the dyadic relationship between the leader .. and volunteers to do things not formally required by the job (Wayne et al.). Generalizability of the vertical dyad linkage model of leader- ship.

We propose that voluntary leader—follower relationships — that is, interactions in which followers voluntarily follow, and leaders voluntarily lead, because they each perceive some positive incentive to do so — were adaptive in the past for both leaders and followers because they involved mutually beneficial exchange.

Evidence suggests that prestige and dominance are two distinguishably different paths that individuals can take in order to increase their social status Von Rueden et al.

The more equal the social bargaining power of leaders and followers i. However, the greater the bargaining power of leaders relative to followers, the more likely the relationship would have been to transition from being reciprocal and prestige-based to being coercive, exploitative, and dominance-based.

When followers have relatively high relative bargaining power e. In these situations, if leaders attempt to claim high status without offering followers anything in return, or by attempting to dominate and coerce followers, then their would-be followers can simply reject them e. However, when followers have relatively low bargaining power, leaders will have increased ability to gain and maintain status based on their ability to dominate, rather than benefit, followers.

For example, if followers have low power to exit a group or to strip a leader of his or her high status, then the leader will have little need to offer them benefits, in order to compel them to a stay in the group or b grant the leader high status in exchange for these benefits.

Leaders may sometimes perceive dominance, as compared to reciprocity, to be an appealingly cheap and efficient route to high status, as it saves them the costs of having to produce benefits for followers. We refer to the above theory of how and why leader—follower relationships vary from reciprocity to dominance as service-for-prestige Price and Van Vugt, in press.

As noted above, leader—follower relations have evolved in a wide variety of species to allow individuals to share information and coordinate their behavior King et al. For instance in many taxa, individuals share knowledge in order to lead followers to the locations of food, water, and other resources examples include ravens, elephants, and most famously honeybees, who map out directions to resources via waggle dances ; in many fish species, leader—follower dynamics result in groups shoals and schools that are helpful for avoiding predators and finding food; and among some primates such as chimpanzees, alpha males lead aggressive group actions against enemy groups and predators Boehm, ; Krause and Ruxton, ; King et al.

In the human lineage, just as in other species, leadership probably evolved initially to solve problems related to information sharing and social coordination. However, we propose that eventually, evolution enabled humans to use reciprocity to enhance the benefits of leadership. Such group movements present coordination problems, however, associated with determining who will lead and who will follow. For example, if Individuals A and B both have an interest in visiting a waterhole together because there is safety in numbersand have several waterholes to choose from, how will they choose which one to visit?

There are several ways in which leader—follower dynamics could emerge to solve this problem Van Vugt and Kurzban, For example, imagine that A prefers a particular waterhole but B has no preference, and as a result A moves first to choose the preferred waterhole.

Once A has made this move, B is best off following A, as opposed to making a dangerous solo journey to a waterhole that offers B no additional benefits. Leadership may have evolved in many species to solve coordination problems such as these, when there has been a fitness advantage to the individual in assuming a leadership role Van Vugt, However, what about situations in which the individual is disadvantaged by assuming a leadership role?

Many leadership roles may involve substantial costs to leaders, and individuals may need special incentives to accept these roles. This potential for reciprocity could provide new opportunities for leadership to evolve, such that leader—follower relations could become not just matters of coordination but also matters of exchange. We propose that leader—follower relations evolved as service-for-prestige transactions in contexts such as these, to enable leadership behaviors that would otherwise have been prohibitively costly.

However, engagement in reciprocity, particularly in the complexly cooperative social environments of human beings, requires specially designed social-cognitive abilities that are uniquely sophisticated in humans Tooby and Cosmides, ; Hammerstein, ; Tooby et al. Therefore, we propose that service-for-prestige exchange is a crucial aspect of leader—follower dynamics in humans, but not necessarily in any other species. One of our key theoretical tools, therefore, will be the main concept used by evolutionists to explain non-kin cooperation: Reciprocity theories assume that because cooperative individuals incur fitness costs in order to deliver fitness benefits to others, they must receive some return benefit from others as compensation for these costs.

In the absence of such compensation, cooperation will be maladaptive for cooperators and will not evolve. For example, if X pays a cost of size 1 to provide Y with a benefit of size 2, and Y precisely returns the favor, then X and Y will each have paid a cost of 1 and received a benefit 2, and the exchange will be mutually profitable. In order for reciprocity to evolve in direct exchange contexts, cooperators must somehow avoid being exploited by cheaters, for example, by avoiding them altogether, or by neutralizing their advantage via punishment.

If cheaters consistently tend to come out ahead in these interactions, they will eventually exploit cooperators to extinction and cooperation will not evolve Hamilton, ; Trivers, ; Henrich, ; Price and Johnson, Individuals should thus be predisposed to cooperate with reciprocators, and be averse to cooperating with cheaters.

This prediction is supported by a large body of evidence from several behavioral science fields Price, a. Reciprocity has long been considered a fundamental attribute of human social systems cross-culturally Gouldner,and it is generally considered to be a universal, species-typical, and highly fitness-relevant human behavior Brown, ; Rilling and Sanfey, The reciprocity theory presented by Trivers primarily describes reciprocity that is direct and dyadic i.

lmx theory voluntary leader follower relationship model

However, extensions of this theory have been used to explain other forms of reciprocity. There have also been attempts to apply reciprocity theory to direct exchanges between one individual and a group of other individuals Boyd and Richerson, ; Price,a ; Tooby et al. Because leader—follower relations often although not exclusively involve interaction between one leader and multiple followers, this kind of reciprocity would seem most relevant to an understanding of leader—follower exchange.

However, it is not widely accepted among evolutionary researchers that direct reciprocity can explain the evolution of cooperation in group contexts such as these Boyd and Richerson, ; Henrich, ; Bowles and Gintis, In the view of these researchers, direct reciprocity can explain the evolution of simple dyadic cooperation, but totally different processes such as cultural group selection are required to explain cooperation in groups.

Our application of reciprocity to these contexts, then, does not represent the consensus view of evolutionary researchers, and important theoretical questions still need to be resolved about precisely how leader—follower exchange could evolve. Nevertheless, despite this lack of a theoretical consensus, we agree with previous suggestions Price,a ; Tooby et al. We propose that reciprocity theory provides the most appropriate and predictive evolutionary framework for understanding voluntary human leader—follower interactions, because 1 leaders often incur costs in their efforts to provide benefits for followers, 2 followers often incur costs in order to provide prestige which benefits leaders, 3 in order for each of these costly provisioning behaviors to be adaptive in the ancestral past, both leaders and followers would have needed to recoup these costs somehow, and 4 this recoupment could plausibly have occurred via a process in which leader-produced benefits were exchanged for follower-produced prestige.

Illustrations of why it is often costly for leaders to provide public goods and for followers to provide prestige, and of why prestige entails fitness benefits, are presented below.

The evolution of leader–follower reciprocity: the theory of service-for-prestige

Service-for-prestige regards leader—follower reciprocity as a collective action problem because many benefits provided by a leader e. The public goods provided by the leader will often be costly to produce, and if increased prestige is what motivates the leader to pay these production costs as service-for-prestige predictsthen followers must succeed in providing the leader with prestige, in order to maintain production of these public goods.

If the prestige allocated to leaders is costly for individual followers to provide, then its allocation will present a collective action problem for followers Price, ; Price and Van Vugt, in press. To understand why prestige allocation should constitute a collective action problem for followers, it helps to first consider social power more abstractly.

Emerson provides a simple and useful definition of social power when he notes the reciprocal relationship between power and dependence: However, note that these two paths to status will rarely be completely distinct, since traits that lead to prestige can frequently lead to dominance, and vice versa; Henrich and Gil-White, ; Von Rueden et al.

We believe that conceptualizing prestige in this way, and distinguishing it from dominance, are useful means of understanding the different ways in which leaders can acquire status.

However, unlike the service-for-prestige theory we present here, Henrich and Gil-White regard prestige as something that is offered in exchange not for public goods but for a private good: In their view, individuals with high levels of expertise are allocated prestige by those who wish to learn from and copy their behavior; by allocating prestige to an expert i. Although we do agree that prestige allocation may often occur as a way to compensate experts for providing private goods, we suggest that it also often occurs as a way to compensate leaders for providing public goods.

If prestige is indeed allocated in exchange for public goods, and if prestige and its behavioral consequences are indeed costly to produce, then it becomes easy to see why the allocation of prestige to leaders will entail a collective action problem. In order for followers to motivate leaders to provide public goods, they must collectively pay the costs of respect. For example, consider a leader who routinely incurs costs e.

His services enable his followers to acquire public goods such as better territory, shared resources, and increased group status. Follower 1 is respectful, and tends to engage in costly acts that benefit the leader e. Because each follower in this scenario has a personal incentive to free ride, there is the risk that the collective effort will fail to produce sufficient prestige to compensate the leader for the costs of providing public goods.

Just like cheaters in reciprocal exchanges, free riders in collective actions will exploit cooperators to extinction unless their advantages are neutralized Yamagishi, ; Boyd and Richerson, The collective action scenario described here is unusual in that it is a collective action for the purpose of engaging in reciprocity.

Collective actions are typically conceptualized as functioning to produce or acquire some shared material resource for example, a group of citizens jointly generating tax revenue, or a group of hunters jointly killing a large game animalbut in this case, the joint effort is focused on producing sufficient prestige to compensate the leader for services rendered. As a result, Follower 2 above is in the unusual position of simultaneously representing both a cheater in a reciprocal interaction for failing to engage in a service-for-prestige transaction with the leader and a free rider in a collective action for failing to cooperate with fellow followers in collectively producing prestige for the leader.

Follower 2 will therefore be a prime target for hostility within the group: We say more about this prediction and related predictions below. Because psychological adaptations evolved in ancestral environments that may be quite different in certain respects than present environments, we cannot always expect for adaptations to function adaptively in modern societies Tooby and Cosmides, A common example is human gustatory preferences for fats, sugars, and salts.

Because these nutrients were essential but difficult to acquire in ancestral environments, people have apparently evolved to be strongly motivated to consume them. These motivations may function maladaptively in environments where these nutrients are easily obtained, by leading to health problems associated with over-consumption Nesse and Williams, Some aspects of leader—follower relations may represent mismatches with modern environments Van Vugt et al. The available evidence suggests that leadership and followership are universal aspects of human nature: Leadership is used in these societies to facilitate cooperation in activities such as warfare, forging political alliances, maintaining within-group order, big game hunting, and moving camp Service, ; Johnson and Earle,all of which are vital to the success, status, and fitness of individuals living in groups.

Ethnographic accounts of leaders in these domains generally describe the leaders as men, rather than women Service, ; Johnson and Earle, However, although women only rarely hold the most directly influential political positions in small-scale societies, they commonly lead in more indirect ways by exerting substantial influence on political affairs Low, ; Yanca and Low, ; Bowser and Patton, A common observation about leadership in small-scale societies is that it tends to be informal and based on achievement Fried, ; Kelly, Compared to leaders in industrialized societies, these leaders have little power to force others to do what they say.

This is especially true in nomadic hunter-gatherer societies, which, compared to sedentary small-scale societies, involve smaller group sizes and lower population densities. There are usually no formal leadership offices or duties in nomadic hunter-gatherer societies, and leaders tend to lead by persuasion and demonstrations of their expertise and ability to benefit others Service, ; Johnson and Earle, Nomadic hunter-gatherers rarely recognize anyone as a formal headman and tend to express low tolerance for domineering leaders Service, ; Turnbull, ; Lee, Small-scale societies also tend to recognize different leaders in different domains cf.

Leadership requires expertise, and different people may have expertise in different activities Service, For instance, the leader of a hunting expedition may not be the same person who organizes an alliance with a friendly group or a raid against an unfriendly one. The traditional authority system of the Navajo, for example, included war leaders, peace leaders who organized friendly political interactionshunt leaders, medical leaders, and ceremonial song leaders Shepardson, By assisting the group in domains such as political relations with external groups, maintenance of internal order, big game hunting, and camp movements, leaders provided followers with public goods.

For instance, success in war can bring a wide variety of collective benefits, including increased access to territory, mates, and other resources Keeley,and success in hunting large game produces meat that is widely shared among the entire residential group Kelly, Leaders often incur large costs to generate these public goods.

Big game hunting, for example, can involve large investments of time and effort and significant risks. War leadership represents another example of costly public goods provisioning; war leaders gain reputations for bravery by taking risks for example, fighting in the front lines that enable their groups to effectively compete for resources Meggitt, ; Chagnon, Why are leaders willing to incur large costs in order to provide followers with public goods?

Plausibly because provisioning of public goods is a key way in which members of small-scale groups can acquire social status Price,ab. Because leaders in small-scale societies have little power to coerce and dominate followers, their high status appears to be more similar to voluntarily conferred prestige than to dominance Henrich and Gil-White, ; Van Vugt and Ahuja, These leaders benefit from their high status: In a community of Tsimane hunter-horticulturalists, the most prestigious and influential men did not receive more shared food over the short-term, but were more likely to receive social support e.

Similarly, magnanimous leadership among the Martu Aborigines in Australia is believed to be rewarded over the long-term with social and political support Bird and Bliege Bird, A further important way in which status enhances male fitness in these societies is by contributing to reproductive success. Status is attractive both to women Ellis, ; Li, and to parents who wish to betroth their daughter to a high status man as a way of creating a useful ally Hart and Pilling, ; Kelly, Ethnographic evidence suggests that in these societies, higher status men — or leaders — have more wives and sexual partners, as well as higher-fertility wives and more surviving offspring Levi-Strauss, ; Chagnon,; Betzig, ; Von Rueden et al.

The importance of leadership in small-scale societies tends to correlate positively with the degree to which settlement patterns are sedentary as opposed to nomadic, because sedentism permits larger residential group sizes and higher population density Fried, ; Johnson and Earle, ; Marlowe, When groups are larger, coordination and collective action problems involved in group action are harder to solve, and leadership is relatively more important Carneiro, ; Tooby et al.

Within-group disputes between members e. Groups may break apart or join together, depending on the abundance of local resources and the quality of social relationships within the group Turnbull, ; Kelly, This arrangement makes it relatively easy for group members to escape a leader who becomes too dominant. But with increases in sedentism and population density, fission—fusion social organization becomes less tenable, and followers become less capable of exiting groups with dominant leaders Boehm, ; Price and Van Vugt, in press.

The transition to agriculture is associated with increases in group size, population density, and sedentism, as well as increases in the power and dominance of leaders. Typical nomadic hunter-gatherer bands consist of 25—50 members, but typical hunter-horticulturalist villages consist of — residents Johnson and Earle, ; Kelly, However, it is not agriculture per se, but rather the increased group size and population density that agriculture permits, that seems to lead to increases in the power and dominance of leaders.

The Indians of the American Pacific Northwest Coast provide a useful illustration of how leaders can become more powerful and dominant with increases in group size and population density, even in the absence of agriculture Price and Van Vugt, in press. The paper discusses theoretical and practical implications of these observations for developing leadership and people management skills in the segment studied.

Leader Member Exchange Theory (LMX Theory) Explained - Dr. Paul Gerhardt

However, there seems to be a consensus on two basic principles about leadership: The development of studies on ethical leadership has helped us understand how leaders influence ethical behavior in business through the attitudes of their followers. Studies in the international arena indicate that ethical leadership has implications of employee satisfaction with their leader, their effectiveness, and their dedication to making extraordinary efforts as part of their performance Brown et al.

Ethical leadership is defined by Brown et al. The ethical leader gains great influence regarding the behavior of his followers. Two dimensions are considered in the discussions about ethical leadership: The moral manager refers to the way in which the leader uses his position to influence the ethical behavior of his followers in the workplace. The moral person refers to the way in which the person conducts him- or herself; being honest, confident, caring, and respectful - how the leader relates to his or her employees, providing the necessary support.

The legitimacy of leaders who spouse these values stems from the admirable conduct that they assume, being a source of identification and inspiration for their followers. In the organizational context, a leader guided by ethical values - such as unselfishness and righteousness - gives the impression of beingmore motivated to support, develop, and assist their subordinates.

The evolution of leader–follower reciprocity: the theory of service-for-prestige

Thus, ethical leaders seem to offer fairer opportunities of career development, to recognize the work of their subordinates through rewards, and to behave in a transparent manner, not treating their employees improperly or exploiting them Mashud et al.

Recent international studies have noted a positive association between ethical leadership and the behavior of the followers Piccolo et al. The authors argue that the employees of an organization learn what is expected of them from the behaviors, rewards, and punishments practiced by their leaders.

Once the follower is a key element in the process of leadership, it is pertinent to verify the influence of the ethical conduct of the leader on those around him or her. The particular relationship that leaders develop with each of their followers is the focus of a leadership theory developed in the s, named LMX Nort-house, The core of its design is in the approach to leadership as a process, as a result of the interaction between leaders and followers, and the dyadic relationship is the main target of the investigation.

lmx theory voluntary leader follower relationship model

The relationship between the leader and the followers varies depending on the degree of respect, trust, and support exchanged between them, and can potentially develop into a high level of partnership. The theory proposes that, due to the relationship established since their first contact, some followers would tend to engage more with the leader, leading to the formation of two distinct groups: The main point highlighted in studies about this theory revolves around the same question: From the observed consequences when the leader's relationship with his followers is of high quality, a pertinent question would be: However, there are still few studies that have addressed the ethical behavior of leaders as the antecedents of the quality of the leader-follower relationship Mashud et al.

The ethical values of a leader are observed in everyday situations, from behaviors guided by a sound moral conduct. With regard to the relationship with the team, the leader seems to promote ethics among the members of the group, and the desire to develop and maintain a collaborative relationship Yukl, The fair distribution of rewards and benefits, the impartial mediation of conflict, and the dedication with which ethical leaders treat their teams, have the potential to strengthen their relationship and lead to better management Mashud et al.

Thus, the first hypothesis of this study proposes that the quality of the relationship between the leader and the followers - i. The ethical leadership, evaluated from the perspective of followers, is positively associated with the quality of the relationship between the leader and the follower LMX.

These results appear when the leader engages in behaviors that promote the support for subordinates, their recognition, and their development through coaching and mentoring tools, as well as when the leader is capable of delegating and promoting a climate of collaboration between the members of the team Yukl, At the individual level, the term performance is used to define the proficiency with which employees act when they engage in behavior that is relevant to the organization.

The performance achieved is the set of results caused by the behaviors and attitudes of individuals at work. The leader's involvement in this process is relevant, since it is the key to the alignment of the organizational systems and the behavior of the employees with the organizational vision. A leader can influence directly the performance of the staff when helping to remove obstacles associated with the work, providing the necessary support, encouragement, and coaching, and by creating a more constructive relationship at work.

Based on LMX theory, studies have investigated the impact of the quality of the relationship between the leader and the follower on the results achieved in organizations.

lmx theory voluntary leader follower relationship model

In this sense, the second hypothesis of this research suggests that the quality of the relationship between the leader and the follower encourages individual performance at work. The quality of the relationship between leaders and followers LMX is positively associated with individual performance. Several authors have discussed different constructs analogous to OCB in the early studies on the topic in the s. From the survey conducted by Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine and Bachrachalmost thirty forms of citizenship have been identified.

These authors organized the concepts discussed into seven major dimensions: Williams and Anderson discuss different behaviors that help at work, which could be directed to individuals or to the organization. In this research, the adopted concept of organizational citizenship behavior follows this differentiation, with an emphasis on individual organizational citizenship behavior OCBi ; that is, the behaviors in which individuals engage in relation to their co-workers.

Features such as conscientiousness, cooperation, and positive or negative affectivity seem to be associated with the guidance of individuals with regard to the relationship with peers and managers. Leaders that are considered ethical are guided by honesty and unselfishness, develop relationships based on trust, and become possible targets and models of ethical conduct Brown et al.

As the ethical leader can be a model of conduct for his or her employees, it is possible that the behavior of helping and cooperating voluntarily is intensely promoted by these leaders.

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Thus, the third hypothesis of this research proposes that ethical leadership is associated with individual organizational citizenship behavior. Ethical leadership is positively associated with OCBi. Goal commitment has been associated with performance in various work contexts, and is characterized by determination in trying to achieve objectives, to persistently pursue them over time Klein et al.

Klein and Kim suggest that in addition to the good relationship between the leader and their employees encouraging better individual performance, their influence on the employee's commitment to work-related goals was critical to achieving good performance. This concept is considered crucial in terms of motivation by the goal setting theory and the achievement of results.